October 12, 2018
Kidsafe Victoria Commends the Victorian Government on Passing the Bill Containing Proposed Changes to Pool and Spa Barrier Laws

Safe Barriers Save Lives

Kidsafe Victoria has commended the Victorian Government on passing the bill with the proposed changes to the State’s pool and spa barrier laws.

As part of the proposed regulatory changes, a mandatory pool register will be established which lists all household pools and spas across the state and a mandatory inspection regime will be implemented, with all pools and spas inspected as frequently as once every three years.

Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, said that Kidsafe Victoria supported the introduction of the proposed regulatory changes.

“Kidsafe Victoria, together with other industry stakeholders, have been campaigning over a number of years for the introduction of measures including a mandatory pool and spa register and mandatory pool and spa barrier inspection system”, said Mr Chambers.

“The introduction of measures such as these, in combination with ongoing education campaigns, are vital to effectively reduce the rate of childhood drowning in home pools and spas in Victoria.”

The proposed changes are expected to be introduced for the 2019/2020 summer season.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under 5 years of age. Statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s National Drowning Report show that in 2017/18, 18 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned. The majority of these drowning incidents (67%) occurred in swimming pools.

While pool and spa barriers play an important role in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, Kidsafe Victoria is reminding the public that nothing can replace active adult supervision of children in and around water.

“Children drown quickly and silently. Together with a compliant pool barrier, it is important that children are always actively supervised by an adult when in and around water to help keep them safe. For toddlers, this means an adult being within arm’s reach at all times”, said Mr Chambers.

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign

Kidsafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign encourages all pool and spa owners to check the safety of their barriers in the lead up to the warmer months.

The campaign reminds pool and spa owners that as well as a pool barrier that is regularly checked and in proper working order, a home pool defence should include active adult supervision, water awareness and first aid knowledge to keep children safe in and around water.

More information about the campaign, including a pool and spa safety checklist, can be accessed via https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/water-safety/pool-fence-safety.