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Recent news bulletin from the Gold Coast City Council contained the following information regarding Gold Coast Pool Fencing:

 

The Queensland State Government introduced legislation for all regulated swimming pools which took effect on 1 December 2010. The legislation is aimed at further reducing the number of immersion injuries and drowning of young children.

Does your pool fence comply with the pool safety standard?

The pool safety standard will apply to owners of existing and new pools.

Drowning is the leading cause of death in Queensland for children aged one to four years. Supervision of children and teaching them to swim at a young age can save lives.

Key changes to pool safety legislation

  • Pool safety certificates are required when selling, buying or leasing a property with a pool.
  • Both new and existing pools must comply with the pool safety standard by 30 November 2015, or earlier if sold or leased.
  • Child-resistant doors(self-closing and self-latching doors) used as pool barriers will not be permitted.
  • Fencing of all portable pools and spas capable of being filled with 300 millimeters of water or more.
  • A requirement for the latest prescribed CPR sign adopted by the Australian Resuscitation Council to be displayed near each pool.
  • Mandatory inspections by local governments for immersion incidents of children under five in swimming pools.
  • All swimming pools must be registered on the State Pool Register, visit: http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing and click on Pool Safety to access the register.

Selling or leasing your property prior to 30 November 2015

If selling or buying a property with a non-shared pool, such as a house, townhouse or unit with its own pool or spa, a pool safety certificate must be obtained from a licenced pool safety inspector. If leasing, the owner must provide the pool safety certificate before entering into the lease.

Pool safety certificates - FAQs

How do I get a pool safety certificate?

Contact a Pool safety inspector, refer:

http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing and click on Pool Safety to access.

Does the pool safety certificate need to be displayed?

Only pool safety certificates for shared pools must be displayed near the main entrance to the premises, at a gate or door accessing the pool.

Where there is a shared pool, does every unit owner need to have the pool inspected separately?

No. The owner of the shared pool, usually the body corporate, needs to obtain the certificate and make it available to the unit owners.

Does the tenant need to recieve a copy of the pool safety certificate?

For non-shared pools, owners do not need to give their tenants a copy of the pool safety certificate, but must provide a copy to a prospective tenant if it's a shared pool.

Is a new pool safety certificate required before each new lease?

Pool safety certificates are valid for one year for shared pools and two years for non-shared pools regardless of how many times the property is re-leased during this period.

What happens if the pool doesn't comply at inspection?

A nonconformity notice (Form 26) will be issued by a Pool Safety Inspector.

The Form 26 advises the pool owner how the pool does not comply and what work needs to be carried out to make it comply.

If the pool owner does not ask the Pool Safety Inspector to re-inspect the pool within three months, the inspector must notify local government. Local government can then take the nessesary enforcement action to ensure the pool complies with the pool safety standard.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

$18,785 for individuals and $93,926 for corporations.

On the spot fines of $1821 for individuals and $5464 for corporations can also apply. Enforcement action is taken by local government and in some cases, by the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Tenants who install their own pool, such as a portable pool or spa, must ensure the pool complies with the pool safety standard and obtain all required building approvals. Permission from the property owner may also be required.

New Pools

Do new swimming pools and spas require building approval?

Yes. A building certifier must provide the building approval and must inspect and certify the pool safety barrier before the pool is filled to a depth of 300 millimeters of water or more.

Ensure your pool safety barrier complies

The following actions can be taken to improve the safety of your pool:

  • replace, tighten or adjust the hinges on the gates to make them self-closing
  • make sure the pool safety barrier height is 1200 millimeters from bottom to top
  • trim back any branches that a child could use to climb over the pool fence
  • install permanently fixed security screens on windows that open into the pool enclosure
  • remove climbable objects from the pool safety barrier and surrounding area.

Common pool safety problems include:

  • Gates are not self-closing and self-latching from all points
  • gates must return to the latched position from any point within its sweep, including resting on the latch
  • adjoining boundary fences have climable rails
  • window openings into the pool enclosure are more than a 100 millimeters wide
  • climbable objects near the pool safety barrier.

For more information, refer to:

http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/default.html

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