Be in the swim on pool rules

SWIMMING pool owners across Orange will soon be forced to register their pools in the lead-up to council conducting safety audits.

Under the new regulations introduced on October 29, all councils will be required to implement a swimming pool fence program to ensure the barriers are compliant.

Royal Life Saving regional manager Alison Middleton said the new guidelines will provide a safer environment for young children.

Mrs Middleton said new regulations will lead to a greater consistency for pool guidelines across NSW.

“In the past it’s been a bit hit and miss,” she said.

“Pretty much the focus is for under fives.”

Mrs Middleton said 50 per cent of drownings for children under five occur in backyard pools.

Pool owners will also be required to conduct a safety checklist of their pool, fence, gate, electricity and chemical storage.

The swimming pools (amendment) act 2012 also forces all councils to lodge an annual report on the number of inspections conducted and issue compliance certificates for pools with compliant fences.

All tourist and visitor accommodation an multi-occupancy developments will now also be inspected at three year intervals.

Orange City Council spokesperson Allan Reeder said the new guidelines will lead to an additional bourdon on the resources of council.

“It’s work we’ve always done, now there will be more work,” he said.

Mr Reeder said council currently does not have a full list of where pools are located  as owners do not have to lodge a development application to construct one.

“Currently we don’t know where pools are,” he said.

Once the state-wide list has been collated Orange City Council will then work out the extra workload and assess if additional staff will have to be employed.

The state-wide register is expected to be available by April 2013.

nadine.morton@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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