What is the draft Swimming Pool Barrier Policy about?

The draft policy outlines pool inspection requirements for both commercial and residential pool owners. The policy aims to provide members of the community with a comprehensive approach to managing swimming pool barriers and also ensure that Council meets its legal obligations under the Swimming Pool Act. The policy deals with issues such as mandatory inspections, inspection fees, compliance certificates, the swimming pool register, and Council’s inspection program. Finally, the policy aims to improve pool safety awareness and compliance with swimming pool barrier
standards.



Has the definition of a swimming pool changed?

No, the Swimming Pools Act (2012) continues to define a swimming pool as an excavation, structure or vessel:

  that is capable of being filled with water to a depth of greater than 300 millimetres

  that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity

  it includes a spa pool, which is defined as any excavation, structure or vessel in the nature of a spa pool, flotation tank, tub or the like, but not a spa bath.



Have the fencing requirements for my pool changed?

No, there are no changes to fencing requirements. You are still required to install and maintain a child-resistant barrier that meets the criteria of Standard AS 1926-1. The DLG website contains checklists that outline the different Australian Standards relevant to your pool fence.



What has changed in the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012?

The major changes in the Swimming Pools Act (2012) mean you now have to register your pool with the DLG by 29 October, 2013. The other major change relates to obtaining a compliance certificate, which you will need if you are looking to sell or lease your property.



What are mandatory and non-mandatory pool inspections?

The Swimming Pools Act splits swimming pools into two types – mandatory and non-mandatory. Mandatory pools are those pools located at tourist and visitor accommodation, and multi-occupancy properties, such as a block of units. The Council policy proposes to inspect these pools and other identified ‘high risk’ swimming pools every three years. ‘High risk’ swimming pools include pools at child care centres, caravan parks, boarding houses, short term accommodation premises and commercial swimming pools.

Non-mandatory are those swimming pools found at private homes, and will only be inspected at the request of a pool owner in order to obtain a Compliance Certificate, or in the instance that a swimming pool is the subject of a complaint made to Council or as part of any Council adopted swimming pool inspection program.



Is Council charging fees for inspecting my pool?

Council will charge a fee for inspecting your swimming pool when you apply for a compliance certificate.




What’s a Compliance Certificate, and do I need one?

From 29 April, 2014 you will need a current swimming pool compliance certificate to sell or lease your property. Tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments, like hotels, caravan parks and residential unit blocks will also need to hold a current compliance certificate from 29 April, 2014. Compliance certificates are valid for three years.



What happens if I don’t register my pool?

From 29 October, you can be fined if your pool is not registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. If you haven’t already registered your pool, please visit www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.

To register your pool, you’ll be asked for contact details and to complete a self-assessment checklist about your pool to see if your pool fence meets the
Australian Standards. It is free to register your pool online.



How can I have my say?

The easiest way to provide your feedback on the draft Swimming Pool Barrier Policy is to complete a feedback form available from Council libraries, leisure centres and tourist parks, or on the Council website at found on Council’s Website at www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au.

For further questions please call 4227 7060 or email engagement@wollongong.nsw.gov.au.