Pool owners reminded of safety responsibilities

18 September, 2012Posted in: Development

With the warmer weather just around the corner, Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding pool owners of their responsibilities this swimming season.

Recently released information from the NSW State Government showed that on average six children a year drown in backyard swimming pools in NSW, while a further 36 children a year suffer permanent brain injury as a result of pool accidents.

“Unfortunately NSW is still overrepresented in national backyard swimming pool incidents,” said Council’s Deputy General Manager Operations, Phil Marshall.

“This is a tragic statistic and one that we want our Shire to avoid”.

“Many of these preventable incidents occur 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,” he said.

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 again offering free inspections of pools within the Shire to help residents meet their requirements,” Mr Marshall 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 Marshall.

For more information contact Council’s Environmental Assessment Branch on phone 4868 0777.

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