The Honourable Paul Lucas
Time running out to register pools
Homeowners have just over two weeks to register their pool to avoid a fine of up to $2000.
Minister for Local Government Paul Lucas said the crackdown on pool registration is the latest in a long line of State Government reforms aimed at preventing drowning tragedies.
"The loss of any child is unimaginable, but the loss of a young child through circumstances that are entirely preventable is heartbreaking," Mr Lucas said.
"That is why the State Government is committed to protecting our most vulnerable Queenslanders by ensuring all pools are registered and meet safety standards.
"Taking just a couple of minutes to fill out a simple online form could help save a child's life.
"The vast majority of pool owners have registered with 283,066 out of an estimated 320,000 registered.
"Pool owners who fail to register their pool by November 4 face on-the-spot fines of $200 or a maximum court penalty of $2000.
"Some people in the community have questioned why the government has taken a tough stance in relation to pool registrations and fencing.
"But the simple fact is that pool drowning remains one of the leading causes of death for Queensland toddlers aged one to four and the leading cause of accidental death nationally for children under five years of age."
Between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2010, 37 children aged four and under drowned in residential swimming pools, and every year there are about 50 incidences of non-fatal immersions, which often result in permanent brain damage.
In 2009 the State Government's independent pool safety review noted Queensland didn't have an accurate figure of its swimming pool numbers and recommended a pool register be established.
Mr Lucas said the State Government register is just one of a range of measures introduced to help save children's lives by making Queensland pools the safest in the country.
"New laws around pools a nd pool fencing have been in place since December 2009 and were strengthened again in December 2010," Mr Lucas said.
"This latest measure will provide statistical information enabling us to undertake future reviews, better promote pool safety awareness and support a pool safety inspection system.
"Previously we have had no way of knowing exactly how many pools there are in Queensland or where they are located."
Established on December 1, 2010, the register provides residents, local governments, pool safety inspectors, and the Pool Safety Council with a central source of information about regulated pools.
Mr Lucas said local governments had already been helping to populate the register from their own records.
"While many councils have records on pools that go back for decades this data may be out of date," Mr Lucas said.
"In most cases pools will already have been registered by local governments, but to help ensure the register is as comprehensive as possible we need pool owners to check if their pool is registered and their details are correct."
Initially the deadline to register was May 4, but following the devastation of the January floods and Cyclone Yasi the State Government gave Queenslanders a reprieve, pushing the deadline to November 4.
"The State Government has invested $800,000 in a public awareness radio and print campaign and granted an amnesty period of six months," Mr Lucas said.
"We want to ensure there is no excuse for people who don't have their pools registered by the deadline."
Pool owners need to ensure their pool has been registered at www.dlgp.qld.gov.au/poolsafety or by calling 1800 340 634.
Pool Safety Timeline
December 1, 2009 Stage one of the State Government's new pool laws implemented:
- Pool fencing laws simplified to best safety standard
- Standards for temporary fencing for pools under construction
- All new swimming pools to undergo mandatory final inspections
- Mandatory CPR signage
- Pool register developed
- Method of reporting immersion incidents from Queensland police improved
December 1, 2010 Stage two of the State Government's new pool laws implemented:
- Pool register established and homeowners required to register their pool by May 4, 2011
- All owners of regulated swimming required to upgrade their pool to the new pool safety standard by 30 November 2015
- Mandatory pool safety certificates and inspections
- Mandatory local governments inspections for immersion incidents of children under five in swimming pools
- Voluntary reporting of immersion incidents by doctors and mandatory reporting by hospitals and Queensland Ambulance Service
- Child resistant doors that form part of the pool barrier must be replaced with a fence
- Councils can no longer ap ply local pool safety laws
- Pool safety laws amended to include indoor pools and pools associated with hotels, motels, caretaker residences, caravan parks, backpackers, hostels, mobile home parks and homestays
- Fencing for all portable pools and spas to be deeper than 300 millimetres.
May 3, 2011- Pool owners given until November 4 to register their pool due to January floods and Cyclone Yasi recovery efforts
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