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Is your swimming pool compliant?

By George Hadgelias

Is your pool legal? If not you could be up for hefty fines

As a pool owner you’re responsible for ensuring that you’re pool is in compliant.

Pool legislation differs state-by-state and there have been some major changes in New South Wales in 2014. But in another state, changes that were finalised almost five years ago are causing pool-owners to scramble.

Queensland’s new pool safety standard was announced in 2010, giving the state’s homeowners and hotel-owners a lead time of five years to get their pools and pool fencing up to scratch.

From 1 December 2015, random inspections could result in on-the-spot fines of up to $796.95 and further penalties of up to $18,785.25 in a predicted crackdown by the State Government.

WHAT’S CHANGED IN QUEENSLAND?

New requirements include:

  • compulsory CPR signs
  • fencing for portable pools and spas that can be filled to a depth of more than 300mm
  • a phase-out of child-resistant doors used as barriers for existing pools
  • stricter standards for boundary fences that form part of a pool fence.
    See the full list of rules.
    Under the current law, all pool and spa owners in Queensland must sign up to the state’s pool safety register or face fines of up to $2356.

WHAT’S CHANGED IN NSW?

In New South Wales the main changes are that it is now compulsory to ensure that your pool is surrounded by a fence that acts as a child-resistant barrier, and separates your pool from any residential building, from public access, and from adjoin private properties.

But it isn’t necessarily straight forward with regulations changing based on when your pool was built, the size of a property and whether you have waterfront access.

One of the major shifts is that swimming pool owners in New South Wales are required to register their pools online.

If you are looking to sell or lease your property. it is particularly important to get your pool in order. From 29 April 2016, all properties in NSW with a swimming pool or spa pool must have a valid compliance certificate before the property can be sold or leased.

The NSW Office of Local Government estimates 95% of pools fail at the first inspection. It can take up to 90 days before a council can issue a certificate of compliance meaning if you don’t get your pool compliant well in advance you could lose time and money.

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