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Swimming pool barrier inspection program

In accordance with the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (the Act) and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 (the Regulation), all New South Wales councils are required to develop and implement a swimming pool inspection program in consultation with their community.

Program objectives

The purpose of this program is to ensure that Council complies with its legal obligation under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and acts to increase pool safety awareness and reduce drowning and near drowning events in backyard swimming pools in Eurobodalla Shire.

Swimming pools to which this program applies

This program applies to swimming pools (both outdoor and indoor) that are situated or installed on premises on which a residential building, a moveable dwelling or tourist and visitor accommodation is located, but does not apply to swimming pools that are situated, or proposed to be constructed or installed, on any premises occupied by the Crown or by a public authority.

Definitions

'Certificate of Compliance' – in respect of swimming pools means a certificate issued under Section 22D of the Swimming Pools Act 1992.

'Multi-occupancy development' – a building, or buildings that is, or are, situated on premises that consists of two or more dwellings.

'Relevant Occupation Certificate' – in respect of a swimming pool, which means an Occupation Certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than three years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.

'Swimming pool' means an excavation, structure or vessel:

  • that is capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300 millimetres, and
  • that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity, and includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath, anything that is situated within a bathroom or anything declared by the Regulations not to be a swimming pool for the purposes of this Act.

'Tourist and visitor accommodation' – means a building or place that provides temporary or short-term accommodation on a commercial basis and includes backpackers accommodation, bed and breakfast accommodation, farm stay accommodation, hotel or motel and serviced apartments.

Inspection program requirements

Council's program involves the inspection of swimming pool barriers in the following circumstances: -

  • As of and from 29 April 2014, Council shall inspect swimming pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and multi-occupancy developments at a maximum of three yearly intervals.
  • As of and from 29 April 2014, where required in writing by the property owner or on behalf of the property owner, Council shall inspect within a reasonable time, all properties which have a swimming pool prior to their sale or lease.
  • Council shall inspect any swimming pool within reasonable time that is the subject of a customer, staff or owner request, to ensure the pool barrier is installed in accordance with the Swimming Pools Act 1992 requirements.
  • Council shall inspect any swimming pool within reasonable time that is identified by Council staff as being unregistered or unauthorised where registration or authorisation is required, to ensure the pool barrier is installed in accordance with the Swimming Pools Act 1992 requirements.
  • As of and from 29 October 2013, Council shall inspect other non-mandatory residential properties that contain swimming pools as part of a proactive program to improve the level of compliance of pool safety barriers and reduce the incidence of infant drownings or near drownings.

The proactive inspection program will incorporate a risk-based approach whereby unauthorised pools and authorised pools with outstanding final inspections will have high priority.

This program is not to require the inspection of a swimming pool in respect of which there is in force a valid Certificate of Compliance or a relevant Occupation Certificate, which are generally considered valid for a period of three years.

Inspection fees

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 provides that Council may charge a fee for an inspection carried out by an authorised officer, being a fee that is not greater than the maximum fee prescribed by the Regulation.  In such case, Council may not charge a fee for the issuing of a Certificate of Compliance.

Further, the Swimming Pool Regulation 2018 provides that Council may charge a fee for one reinspection.

Council will charge a fee of $150.00 (incl GST) for an initial inspection and $100 (incl GST) for a reinspection (which includes the issue of a Certificate of Compliance for complying pool fences). Council will not charge additional fees to carry out subsequent follow-up inspections.  This is the maximum fee prescribed by the Regulation and consistent with our current fees and charges for building compliance inspections.

Resourcing

Council will engage appropriate staff to implement the inspection program and associated responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • community education and awareness
  • inspection of swimming pools in accordance with adopted inspection program and its requirements
  • the identification of unregistered and unauthorised swimming pools
  • the enforcement of the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 where appropriate
  • the issue of Certificates of Compliance, and
  • statutory program reporting.

Implementation

Council aims to achieve compliance with the provisions of the Swimming Pool Act 1992 through effective education and engagement of pool owners and the community.  Council acknowledges the ultimate effectiveness of any pool safety barrier and relies upon the awareness of the property owner and their willingness to ensure compliance and ongoing maintenance.

The Swimming Pool Act 1992 does provide mechanisms such as notices, directions and penalty provisions, which are used to actively encourage compliance, where deemed necessary and appropriate.

Education and awareness

Pool owner education and awareness is essential in contributing to the success of the inspection program.

An ongoing and complementary community education and awareness program will be delivered through community publications, media releases, website information, owner self-assessment pool fence checklists and pool safety officer interaction with the public.

The importance of pool barrier maintenance and adult supervision are key messages to be delivered within the program.

The rates of pool barrier compliance are expected to progressively increase as a result of the inspection program and the gradual improvement of the level of community education and awareness.

Variations

Council reserves the right to vary this program where, in the opinion of Council, the variation does not diminish the intent of the program, and seeks to provide clarity to an item or is a legislative requirement.

We can help you

If you need more information, please contact our Development Helpdesk:

  • T: 02 4474 1231
  • E: Council's Development Helpdesk
  • visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.