Fences alone wont save lives

EIGHT children have drowned in Queensland pools this year – and new pool fencing and signage laws may not be enough to prevent deaths in the future if parents are not vigilant, Booral pool owner Gwen Beaumont says.

Ms Beaumont, who owns a property that also has two large dams, fought a battle with the former Hervey Bay City Council after being told her unfenced pool was exempt from fencing laws and then receiving several letters demanding she fence it.

Her exemption still stands and her pool remains unfenced but she acknowledges that in the future the time will come to fence it. The expense is the problem but she says that, in time, she will have the money to pay for the pool to be fenced.

She has not received any letters from the Fraser Coast council regarding the new laws passed by the State Government this week, under which all new home owners will have to ensure there is a strict non-climbable zone next to or above the pool. The changes will also mandate that all pools have the latest fencing and CPR signage is displayed.

The owners of existing pools have until 2011 to ensure they are compliant with the new laws.

Ms Beaumont said parents should not become complacent just because a pool was fenced.

“A lot of people think that if a pool is fenced there is no problem.

“But if a kid wants to go swimming, they will go swimming.”

Ms Beaumont said parental supervision and teaching children pool safety were also necessary to prevent children from drowning in pools – not just tightening fencing laws.

“A lot of it has to do with teaching kids to have water sense.”

Ms Beaumont said she used to have CPR signage by her pool but the sign was on her old filter, which has since been replaced.

She intends to get another sign, adding: “CPR is something everyone should know how to do.”

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