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New Pool Safety Laws

By Ray White Toronto Reception

Paul Wrigley from Ray White Real Estate Property Management Toronto shares this article from the Real Estate Institute Journal about the new legislation regarding pools with properties being sold or leased.

All NSW backyard pools will have to be registered and comply with safety standards as part of new State Government legislation that aims to reduce the risk of children drowning.

The legislation also requires a pool to pass a mandatory safety inspection before the property is sold or leased. Local Government Minister Don Page said the laws would cover the state’s 340,000 backyard swimming pools and would also include mandatory periodic inspections of pools associated with tourist accommodation and unit blocks.

“Children’s safety is paramount, and very young children are most at risk”, Mr Page said. “While proper supervision is critical, it is important that every pool owner takes responsibility to make sure their pool complies with current regulations. Every child drowning is a tragedy to families and communities, not least because it is preventable through ensuring responsible supervision and compliant barriers. It is totally unacceptable that NSW is overrepresented in national backyard swimming pools statistics.”

On average, six children drown in NSW backyard swimming pools each year.

In addition, each year about 36 children in NSW suffer permanent brain injuries from swimming pool accidents.

Mr Page said research indicated that by increasing compliance with pool barrier requirements, the rate of infant death by drowning could be reduced by up to 41 per cent.

The new laws – which were developed after extensive consultation with councils, water safety advocates, pool owners, state agencies and industry organisation – will:

  • Require that any property with a swimming pool be inspected and registered as compliant before that property can be sold or leased.
  • Establish a new offence for failing to register a swimming pool (maximum penalty $2200).
  • Require pool owners to self-register free of charge on a state-wide online register and certify that, to the best of their knowledge; their pool barrier complies with the legislation.
  • Require councils to develop a locally appropriate and affordable inspection program in consultation with communities
  • Require mandatory, periodic inspections of pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and unit blocks.
  • Clarify that, were an exisiting swimming pool that is exempt from fencing requirements is fenced voluntarily, the new fencing must meet requirements for a compliant, four-sided barrier and the exemption will be removed.

Pool owners will have 12 months to register and self-certify their pools and become compliant with regulations.

The State Government will also be conducting an education campaign reminding people of their responsibilities.

For more information about the legislation and pool safety, visit the Department of Local Government website at dlg.nsw.gov.au or safewaters.nsw.gov.au

As you know a pool drowning affects not only a family but the whole community and most times can be avoided by taking a few steps to ensure your pool is safe. To speak to our Property Management team in Toronto call Ray White Real Estate Property Management Toronto on 02 4959 6577.

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