New pool safety laws

By Simon Ruppert

Benalla's pool owners will need to adhere to new pool-safety laws as of December 1.

As of last Sunday it has been mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located, to register their pool or spa with their relevant council.

In addition, owners are now required to obtain and lodge a compliance certificate for the safety of their pool or spa barrier every four years.

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Owners will need to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to carry out an inspection and issue the compliance certificate.

Once a pool or spa is registered, the local council will notify owners of the due date for the first certificate of pool barrier compliance.

Owners are required to arrange an inspection and lodge the certificate with their local council by the due date.

SPASA Victoria chief executive officer Chris Samartzis applauded the Andrews government for bringing in this new legislation that would ensure the safety of all Victorians.

“Backyard pool and spa owners can now relax and enjoy the fantastic lifestyle that comes with pool and spa ownership, knowing that their wonderful asset will now be safer than ever,” Mr Samartzis said.

“This legislation will help focus attention on a critical component of pools and spas.

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“The regulations allow for a low-cost environment to deal with mandatory barrier inspections and we applaud the state government for a well-thought-out piece of legislation.”

Victorian backyard pool and spa owners have until June 1 next year to register their pool or spa with their local council. The maximum fee that a council can charge is $31.84.

For pools and spas constructed before June 1 next year that have an unknown construction date, an information search fee may be charged, up to a maximum of $47.24.

Pools and spas constructed after June 1 next year must be registered within 30 days after issue of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

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For pools and spas constructed on or after June 1 next year a certificate of barrier compliance is due within 30 days of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

This certificate must accompany an application for registration. The next certificate of compliance is due four years after registration.

Hefty fines will apply for pool and spa owners who do not register their pool or spa.

The fee for lodging a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance will be up to a maximum of $20.50, with certificates of compliance being required to be lodged once every four years.

Pool owners will have 60 days to bring their pools into compliance, if an inspector identifies any non-compliant safety concerns.

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