The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (Amendment Act) commenced on Monday 29 October 2012.
The legislation amends the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) (Act) by including new obligations aimed at increasing the safety of very young children around backyard swimming pools and reducing associated drowning and near-drowning incidents.
The following provides a brief outline of the impact of these legislative amendments for pool owners and councils.
FOR POOL OWNERS:
Swimming pool owners are required to :
- Register their swimming pools on an online register to be provided by the NSW State Government by 29 October 2013 (The Register will be available on the Department of Local Government website from 29 April 2013
- Swimming Pool owners will be required to self-assess, and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering their pool.
- There is a penalty for owners who fail to register a swimming pool (penalty notice amount of $220).
- Swimming pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool.
- Accredited certifiers under the Building Professional Act 2005 may conduct swimming pool inspections initiated by the pool owner.
Councils are required to:
- develop and implement a swimming pool barrier inspection program in consultation with their communities
- report annually on the number of pool inspections undertaken and the level of compliance with the requirements
- inspect pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and multi-occupancy developments at three year intervals
- at the request of a pool owner, inspect pools prior to sale or lease
- issue compliance certificates after an inspection which finds a pool barrier compliant with the requirements of the legislation. Compliance certificates are valid for three years.
A swimming pool subject to an occupation certificate is exempt from an inspection program for three years from the date of issue of the occupation certificate.
Councils may inspect any swimming pool that is the subject of a complaint to the council. Their powers of entry will be consistent with the Local Government Act 1993. Councils may charge a fee for each inspection undertaken (up to a maximum of $150 for the first inspection and $100 for one re-inspection resulting from the first inspection).
By 29 October 2013 Councils' are to develop mandatory inspection programs for all pools in tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments, and pools associated with property sale and lease (to commence by no later than 29 April 2014).
Further information will be available as the legislative amendments are implemented.
If you have a swimming pool and are not sure whether you comply with the current Australian Standards feel free to contact us and we can assist you.