Pool owners reminded of safety responsibilities

1 December, 2011Posted in: Community, Development

With summer now here, Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding pool owners of their responsibilities this swimming season.

“Last year, 22 children under the age of five were presented to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead alone as a result of drowning or near drowning,” said Scott Lee, Council’s Director of Environment and Planning.

“Alarmingly, this figure is an increase on the numbers presented over the past eight years to Westmead,” he said.

“Many of these avoidable incidents occurred in backyard swimming pools and they serve as a timely reminder that all pools – including inflatable and wading pools – require an Australian Standard approved child resistant barrier.”

The Swimming Pools Act 1992, which applies to both in-ground and above ground pools, contains important provisions for domestic pools designed to protect the vulnerable. Local Government has an important role in the enforcement of such provisions.

“It’s important to remember that Council can only enforce these provisions when we’re aware of the existence of a swimming pool in the first place.

“It’s essential that Council is therefore made aware of what pools are within its boundaries.

“To this effect we are offering free inspections of pools within the Shire to help residents meet their requirements,” Mr Lee said.

Other recommendations for pool owners include regularly checking pool fences and gates to ensure they are unobstructed and in good working order. In addition, resuscitation posters must be displayed within the pool enclosure.

“Pool ownership, regardless of size, is a big responsibility and Council has a zero tolerance to those which don’t comply,” said Mr Lee.

For more information contact Council’s Environmental Assessment division on phone 4868 0888.

“The potential consequences of non-compliance can far outweigh any infringement notice.”