April 8, 2018
Kidsafe Victoria Supports the Victorian Government’s Proposed Changes to Pool and Spa Barrier Laws

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’

Kidsafe Victoria Supports the Victorian Government’s Proposed Changes to Pool and Spa Barrier Laws

Kidsafe Victoria has welcomed the proposed changes to the State’s pool and spa barrier laws which were announced today by the Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne.

As part of the proposed regulatory changes:

  • A mandatory register will be established including all household pools and spas across the state.
  • A mandatory inspection regime will be implemented, seeing all pools and spas inspected as frequently as once every three years.
  • A certificate of compliance will be required at point of sale or lease of a property.

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 existing education efforts, are vital to effectively reduce the rate of childhood drowning in home pools and spas in Victoria.”

The Government will introduce the regulatory overhaul into Parliament in June, with the new register and inspection regime expected to be in place by the 2018 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 2016/17, 29 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned. The majority of these drowning incidents (45%) occurred in backyard 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 raises awareness about the need to regularly check and maintain pool and spa barriers, providing pool and spa owners with a call to action to do so at the beginning of daylight saving each year.

The campaign also focuses on other important aspects of child water safety, including the importance of supervision, first aid/CPR and water familiarisation and swimming lessons for children.

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.