A rash of tragic incidents involving the accidental drowning of very young children in backyard pools has prodded the NSW government to require owners of swimming pools to comply with stricter swimming pool laws by April 2014, but that deadline for compliance has just been postponed for another 12 months.
More time for swimming pool inspections
In an announcement last week, the NSW Office of Local Government made it clear that the legislation will now come into effect on 29 April 2015.
The main reason for the delay is to give swimming pool and spa owners more time to take all the required steps to make their swimming pools compliant with the 2012 amendments to Swimming Pools Act 1992.
Also, with more than 300,000 pools and spas across NSW, the Councils which are mandated to implement a program of barrier inspections on pools, including inspections of tourist, visitor accommodation and multi occupancy properties are swamped with roll out of inspections, compliance checking and registration tasks, and that has caused an unprecedented backlog.
According to a statement issued by Office of Local Government chief executive Ross Woodward, council officers report high inspection failure rates, and that further delays the issuance of a compliance certificate. From first inspection, it could take up to three months before the swimming pool owner could finally do all that is necessary to bring the pool and its security into compliance and get issued a compliance certificate.
Inadequate number of existing qualified inspectors
The apparent shortage of existing qualified inspectors may also be one of the reasons for the extension of the transition period. While the market demand is huge, there are only a few qualified inspectors who can perform those said inspections on the hundreds of thousands of swimming pools in the state.
Pool safety campaign is a success
The delay may seem like a setback, but there is actually a bright side to all this. First, the fact that Council officers are being overwhelmed by applications for a compliance certificate suggests that the advertising campaign raising awareness of pool safety is a resounding success. With more and more home owners waking up to the fact that their own children could be in danger, they are now actively taking steps to make sure the swimming pools they own have child proof fencing and child proof locks. Even more heartening is that many of them are actually calling in certifiers and reviewing the requirements themselves.
If you are one of those home owners who have a swimming pool but don’t have a compliance certificate just yet, you can use the 12-month postponement to make your pool safe for children. And, if you’re planning to sell your home in the future, we suggest you should get an inspection done early and verify that your pool is compliant way before the new deadline.
Should you need help installing child proof fences and other security measures for your swimming pool, just give us at Tradebusters a call. We have a network of tradesmen who are more than qualified to work on making sure your swimming pool is compliant with pool legislation.