The New South Wales State Government recently passed legislation regarding backyard swimming pools, which will affect strata schemes that currently have a pool onsite. In enacting the changes, the Government argued that safety around residential swimming pools is imperative given that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in young children, especially those under the age of five who lack cognitive skills.
The Swimming Pools Amendment Bill 2012 made several changes to the Swimming Pools Act 1992. By October 29 2013, all pool owners, including Owners Corporations who manage common property pools, will be required to join a pool registry administered by the State Government. Additionally owners will be required to show a current swimming pool compliance certificate to be able to lease a property with a pool and there will also be mandatory inspections of pools by accredited certifiers. There may be a cost to pool owners associated with site inspections.
Property owners who fail to register their swimming pool may be subject to a maximum penalty of $2,200.
At Netstrata, we fully support any legislation that makes a strata scheme’s common property safer for all. Given that many strata schemes in Sydney have a swimming pool; it is only logical that we’d all want to make, what is a potentially hazardous addition to the strata property, as safe as possible. Therefore, while it is now law to comply with these tightened safety measures, we think they’re all also sensible proposals.
There are a number of other options Owners Corporations and pool users can take to minimise harm from pools. Pool users should never leave the gate open to the pool and the gate should be both self closing and self latching. Pool fences should be at least 1.2 metres high and the vertical gaps should be no more than 10 cm apart. Keep all furniture and garden beds a clear distance from the pool fence to eliminate the chance of a toddler using them to climb over the fence.
If you have any questions regarding swimming pool safety, please contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.