Port's positive response to pool safety

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Port's positive response to pool safety


Port Douglas residents and resorts have embraced the new pool safety legislation which was introduced on 1 December 2010, according to Swimming Pool Safety Inspector, Colin Cameron.

The legislation is designed to reduce the number of infant drownings by ensuring that pool fences and gates are adequate and kept clear of items such as plant pots on which children can climb to gain access to the pool.

"All pools need to become compliant in regards to the new legislation. Not a lot has changed but there are a few little items that have," Mr Cameron said.

"It's basically about the pure safety aimed at infants in Queensland around the zero to five age group. My job is to assess pools and make sure they're compliant for the safety of children.

"We're here to help, not to hinder. It's not about going in to a place and saying 'bad luck mate you've got to get a new fence', it might be putting a piece of perspex here or moving a plant pot."

Properties with pools must become compliant within five years of the introduction of the legislation, however properties to be leased, rented, holiday let, or sold must have a pool safety certificate prior to doing so.

"I must admit I'm pretty proud of the people of Port Douglas. A lot of the resorts are doing it and many of them have already completed it," Mr Cameron said.

Private homes with pools must also become compliant with the new legislation, which people may not be aware also applies to many portable pools.

"If you go and buy a blow up pool that is deeper than 300mm and holds more than 2,000 litres, you have to put a pool fence around it," Mr Cameron said.

Mr Cameron recalled an instance whereby a family with children aged two and six used an Esky as a step in order to access a blow up pool and highlighted that parents needed to be diligent and aware that fatal accidents can occur in an instant of distraction.

Once an inspection takes place, any recommendations made by a Swimming Pool Safety Inspector must be completed within three months. A certificate of compliance will then be issued within two days of a follow up inspection.

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The new legislation may have a huge impact on large scale swimming areas such as the Cairns lagoon pool and the large resort pool at Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas where fencing is non-existent.

In his role as Swimming Pool Safety Inspector, Mr Cameron reports to the Pool Safety Council. Inspections can be booked by calling Colin Cameron on 0412 583 525.