Swimming Pool Safety
Drowning is one of the major causes of death for NSW children under the age of five. Each year on average 10 children under five drown in backyard swimming pools and many more suffer brain damage and other serious injuries associated with near-drowning experiences. The lack of adult supervision, and failure to ensure that pool barriers were properly constructed and maintained, was a significant factor in the deaths of several children.
New Swimming Pool Legislation
In 2012, a comprehensive review of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was finalised. This review identified a number of amendments designed to enhance the safety of children under the age of five years around private (‘backyard’) swimming pools in NSW.
The new laws include:
Online Pool Register
Council’s mandatory inspection program
Selling or leasing a property with a pool
Tourist and visitor accommodation
Owners may request an inspection at any time
Quick summary of changes
|29 April 2013||Pool owners must commence registering their swimming pool.|
|29 April 2014||Tourist and visitor accommodation must make an application for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate.|
|29 October 2013||Council’s mandatory inspection program commences.|
|29 April 2014||Properties for sale or lease must obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate before they sell or lease.|
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 currently requires that all swimming pools have an appropriate child resistant barrier that restricts access between the residence and the swimming pool. Owners may be fined if the pool fence or other appropriate child resistant barrier does not meet the requirements.
Pool owners must determine whether their pool fence or other barrier complies with the legislation. There are different fencing requirements for swimming pools depending on when and where the pool was installed. Pool owners are asked to seek advice from Council if uncertain about what regulations apply to their swimming pool.
Pool owners are reminded that there is no substitute for constant adult supervision of children in and around swimming pools to prevent drowning and other accidents.