FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 26 February 2015
NSW Government delay to implementation of Pool Safety Regulations for Sale and Lease of property continue to put childrens lives at risk
Samuel Morris Foundation Managing Director, Michael Morris, said “Today the NSW Government announced a delay to the implementation of provisions requiring a certificate of compliance for the sale or lease of a property with a swimming pool. The NSW Government has had two years since they announced these changes to ensure that everything is in place. Sadly this delay will continue to put childrens lives at risk.
In the Governments notification of the delay it acknowledges that 95% of pools are failing to comply with the legislation that is already in place regarding the safety of back yard swimming pools. It is already the law that these pools should be compliant.
Advocacy groups such as ours have repeatedly told the Government that there is a significant issue with the non-compliance of pools with existing legislation; it is therefore no surprise to the government that 95% of pools would be failing inspections at the point of sale or lease.
It has been shown that children are at greater risk in the period of moving into a property with a swimming pool, it is already the law that these pools SHOULD be compliant, the sale and lease provisions are an opportunity to demonstrate this, and to ensure that if a children are to move into the property after the sale, that the pool is compliant, minimising the risk to these children ”
If the government has failed to consult with the industry organisation representing pool trades and services to ensure that they were adequately prepared for the volume of work that the legislation would produce, that is a failure of the Government, and the industry which has also now been aware of these requirements for two years.
If the provisions were introduced on 29 April 2015 as planned, then over the next twelve months in excess of 34,000 homes with swimming pools would be certified as compliant with existing legislation. This delay means that around 95% of those pools are likely to continue to remain non compliant.
I re-iterate, IT IS ALREADY THE LAW that these pools should be compliant, advocacy groups such as ours are only asking that the Government get on with ensuring compliance with the EXISTING law, the sale and lease provisions are one component to speed up this process and ensure pools are compliant at a time of heightened risk.
I would also like to acknowledge the significant work that the Office of Local Government, the Building Professionals Board, Local Councils and other advocacy organisations such as Royal Life Saving have put into preparation for the 2015 roll out of the sale and lease provisions. It is my understanding that all of these organisations were adequately prepared for the planned 2015 roll out of the sale and lease provisions.
For interviews regarding the issues surrounding the experience of families of near drowning survivors, or interviews to reinforce pool safety messages please contact Michael Morris on 0404 552 429