New rules on pools

FRASER Coast pool owners will soon face tough new laws making pool safety inspections and compliance certificates mandatory.

Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said stage two of the State Government’s new pool laws, passed in Parliament last week, included fencing for all portable pools deeper than 300mm, doors that form part of the pool barrier to be replaced with a fence and the removal of the ability for councils to create local pool laws where state laws apply.

The new legislation would also provide local government pool inspectors with greater powers of entry and broaden pool safety laws to include covering indoor pools and pools associated with hotels, motels, caretaker dwellings, caravan parks and other residential buildings.

Mandatory pool inspections will be triggered at sale and lease with strong penalties where compliance certificates are not in place within 90 days after the sale is completed.

A pool safety inspection certificate will last for two years for a non-shared pool (house) and one year for a shared pool (units), regardless of how many times it is re-leased or sold in that period.

Pools that fail to comply with the new standard will have five years to adjust – unless the property is sold or leased first.

Fence upgrades are expected to cost between $430 for those that comply with the existing standard and a total of $1160 for those that do not meet existing requirements. Mandatory pool safety inspections will cost between $90 and $130.

Mr Hinchliffe said pool owners would be given time to comply.

“The new laws will ensure a six-month phase-in period for pools associated with short-term accommodation to obtain a pool safety certificate,” he said.

“All other shared pools will have two years to prepare and plan for upgrading their pool fences to the one standard, and be required to obtain a pool safety certificate.

“This will ensure that bodies corporate have sufficient time to plan and budget for any work they need to undertake to meet the new standard.

“To make sure pool owners, the real estate and legal sectors are aware of the new obligations, the Department of Infrastructure and Planning is developing a targeted education and awareness campaign, which will be rolled out in the coming months,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Stage one of the State Government’s new pool laws rolled out on December 1, 2009.

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