More time to get pools registered

The deadline for mandatory registration of privately-owned pools and spas has been extended by five months due to the impacts of coronavirus.

Owners now have until 1 November to register their pools with the local council, an extension of the original 1 June deadline.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the extension is an acknowledgement of the extra pressure on families and the increased workload on councils due to the pandemic.

“We know many people are doing it tough and this gives owners and councils more time to comply with the new regulations ahead of next summer,” he said.

“Pool and spa ownership is a choice and with that choice comes the responsibility of making sure they are safe.

“These regulations are necessary to prevent children continuing to drown in backyard pools with non-compliant safety barriers.”

Most drowning deaths of children under five happen in home swimming pools. Since 2000, 27 young children have drowned in private pools and spas in Victoria.

The State Government introduced new regulations in December last year in a bid to make swimming pools and spas safer and prevent young people from drowning.

These changes require owners to register their pools and spas with their local council, with a one-off fee of up to $79.

Once registration is complete, the council will inform the pool owner of the date by which they must organise their first inspection and certification of their barrier – the deadline for owners to lodge their first barrier certification will also be extended.

In addition, owners must have a registered building surveyor or inspector certify the continuing compliance of their safety barrier every four years.

Owners who fail to register their pool or spa with their council by 1 November may face an on-the-spot fine of $330.

For more information on the Victorian Government’s pool safety reforms, visit vba.vic.gov.au.

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