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Have you registered your pool or spa?

Kids standing at pool fence.

Changes to Victorian legislation means pool and spa owners must register with Council by 1 June 2020.

Thursday 27 February 2020

If you have a pool or a spa, are you aware that you need to register it with Council following changes to Victorian legislation last year?

All pools and spas that have a water depth of more than 30cm need to be registered to ensure the fences or barriers comply with safety standards.

“The changes were introduced by the Victorian Government to make sure pool fences provide a safe barrier to keep children from drowning,” said Julian Peck, Building Surveyor, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Backyard pools can be lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous. More kids drown in backyard pools than anywhere else,” said Mr Peck.

Twenty seven young children have drowned in private swimming pools and spas since the year 2000. In at least 20 of those cases an unsafe pool fence was a factor.

“I think we’d all agree that any case of drowning is one too many. Even if you don’t have small kids around you still need to register your pool,” said Mr Peck.

The new Victorian Government laws require people to register their pool or spa with their local Council by 1 June 2020.

In Mount Alexander Shire the registration fee is $31.80 for a relocatable spa or pool, and $79 for a permanent spa or pool.

“Once you submit the registration form and pay the fee to Council, we will advise you of the date by which you will need to have your fence inspected by a registered building inspector or building surveyor,” said Mr Peck.

Pool and spa owners must arrange for a privately registered inspector to assess the pool. Inspections are required every four years, and the compliance certificates will be kept on Council’s database.

“We have sent registration forms to households that we know have a pool. The form is also available on our website or from the Civic Centre in Castlemaine,” said Mr Peck.

“I encourage everyone with a pool or spa to take a look at our website or contact me directly with any questions about the process,” he said.

Tenants with a pool are encouraged to contact their real estate agent to ensure their pool or spa is registered. Registration is required for all pools and spas at private homes and shared accommodation such as hostels and hotels.

Under the state legislation Council can issue fines of up to $1,652 to those who don’t register by the June deadline.

Find more information at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/Building_Services or phone Council’s Building Services Unit on 5471 1759.

Image: The new laws aim to protect the safety of young children.

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