Queensland pool owners must have a properly installed and maintained fence and gate for the pool.
Criminal charges against a New South Wales man has highlighted
the importance for pool owners to have a properly installed and maintained pool
fence and gate.
A 61-year-old Armidale man is due to face court this month
charged with manslaughter, after a toddler drowned in his pool earlier this
It is understood to be the first case where a person has been
charged with manslaughter for having inadequate pool fencing.
“It’s highlighted the need for people to check that their pools
are ready for Summer, when the water’s more attractive to kids,” said Steve
Davis from Pool Safety Inspections Northside.
“It does reinforce the fact that although a lot of people don’t
agree that you should have to fence your pool to keep neighbouring children
out… you do have a legal responsibility.
“It’s not something you want to live with, if somebody drowns
in your pool.”
While Queensland has stricter laws regarding pool safety than
NSW, Mr Davis said local pool owners are generally happy to be pool compliant.
“I’m still getting calls from people that don’t need a (safety)
certificate but want to make sure their pool’s safe,” he said.
“That will increase as we get towards the warmer months.”
Ms Davis said having a childproof pool gate “is a number one
“I still advise people to make sure they have a self-closing,
self-latching gate and I advise people to lock the gate and keep the key in the
house, not leave it in the lock as most people do,” he said.
Owners of existing pools have until the end of November 2015 to
comply with new Queensland pool safety laws.
Homeowners who intend to sell or lease a property with a pool
must comply with the laws before this date.
The laws, which also relate to pools in caravan parks, hotels,
motels and hostels, include displaying a CPR sign from the Australian
Resuscitation Council the fencing of portable pools and spas filled with 300mm
of water or more.
Pool inspections must be undertaken by the local council
following a reported immersion incident of a child under five years of age.
The State Government recently amended building laws, so pool
owners repairing or upgrading pool barriers no longer need to submit a building
Housing and Public Works Minister Dr Bruce Flegg said pool
owners previously had to submit a building application for works to pool fences
of more than 5m or more than six fence posts.
“Under the changes, these jobs are able to be inspected by a
pool safety inspector, saving pool owners between $350 and $900,” Dr Flegg
For tips on how to make your pool safer
visit http://www.homepoolsafety.com.au/ and http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/pool-safety