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New pool and spa rules start on Sunday, but compliance information is scarce

New regulations for pool and spa owners come into force on Sunday, but there information about what owners need to do to make their pools compliant is scarce.

Under the new rules, pool and spa owners will have six months from December 1 to register their pool with their local council and pay a fee.

Those who fail to register by June 2020 may face fines of up to $1652.

After that, pool fences must be inspected and deemed compliant by June 2021, and reassessed every four years thereafter, at the owners cost.

But most councils contacted by the 3AW Mornings program said they’re waiting for details on the policy which comes into play on the weekend.

Owners who hope to have their pool up to scratch long before the June 2021 deadline may be out of luck.

CEO of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria, Chris Samartzis, said no one has yet undergone training to assess the suitability of pool barriers.

“That is in the process, I think the VBA is looking at a course,” he said.

“You’ll end up having a whole range of compliance specific rules that will be part of the whole up on our website and up on the council’s websites eventually.”

The new legislation will also apply for portable wading pools with a depth capacity of over 30 centimetres.

Portable pools will be allowed to be used for three days at a time without a fence, but must be properly fenced if left erected for more than three days.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has released a statement announcing the new legislation is designed to curb drowning deaths.

“In Victoria alone, there have been 27 fatal drownings in private swimming pools and spas over the last 19 years,” the statement reads.

“The Victorian Coroner found in at least 20 of these cases the safety barrier was non-compliant, and this is likely to have played a role in the deaths.”

The Municipal Association told 3AW Mornings the government has told them they’ll support at community education campaign and information for councils once the regulations are finalised.

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Image: Rondeau Laetitia / EyeEm

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