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Over the past ten years 1,000 children in NSW have required hospital admission as a result of an immersion in a backyard swimming pool. Tragically, 60 children have drowned with an additional 70 children suffering permanent neurological damage.
The Clarence Valley has over 2000 backyard swimming pools. Legislation requires pool owners to provide a fence or barrier to pools and spas, display a resuscitation notice and register their pools on line at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au. However this is only part of proper pool safety procedures. Supervision of children is essential to ensure tragic accidents are prevented. Remember - children can drown in fenced pools.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 require all swimming pools to have an appropriate child resistant barrier that restricts access between the home and the swimming pool. Any pool capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300mm requires a fence. This includes a number of portable or inflatable pools that can be purchased from department stores. An exemption exists for spa pools provided they have a lockable child safe cover that is in position at all times when the spa is not in actual use.
View the Office of Local Government website for further information.
Child resistant barriers must comply with the requirements of Australian Standard 1926.1 "Fences and Gates for Private Swimming Pools". This is available for viewing, free of charge, at council's offices or can be purchased on line.
Training in resuscitation techniques will give adults the skills required for emergency situations.
Prior development consent is required to replace a pool or to remove/demolish an inground pool over 2000 litres in capacity.
The removal of an above ground pool does not require prior development consent but an email should be forwarded to email@example.com to inform Council so the pool can be removed from the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
The following on the spot fines apply:
$550 fine … if its not fenced
$220 fine …. if its not registered
$110 ….if resuscitation poster is not displayed
$1500 fine …. If there is no development consent (applies to pools over 2000 litres capacity)