The new State Government private pool inspection program is designed to cut the number of backyard drownings.
The new State Government private pool inspection program is designed to cut the number of backyard drownings. John Gass

Council wants to know what you think about pool rules

TWEED Shire Council is seeking pool owners input on how to implement a stringent new State Government private pool inspection program designed to cut the number of backyard drownings.

Council has proposed three options for the inspection program which is scheduled to begin in April next year.

But residents have been warned that the more frequently council is required to inspect a pool, the greater the potential cost to owners.

Council has been contacted to determine the approximate cost of each option including self regulation with minimal inspections which is similar to the existing program or random inspections or regular inspections.

The amended state government legislation also requires pools to be registered by October 29 this year and to certify that the safety barrier around it complies with regulations or risk a fine of up to $2200.

Council's Director of Planning and Regulation, Vince Connell, said council assistance would be available for property owners to meet the deadline.

Local Government MP Don Page said so far just 65,000 among an estimated 300,000 NSW pool owners had registered.

He said anyone with a pool whether it was exempt from barriers or not was required to register.

There have been 67 children under four years of age drown in private pools in the last 10 years.

"And all those deaths were preventable," Mr Page said.

PoolWerx Tweed Heads manager Anthony Mills said word about the registration had been slow to get out.

"We're obviously letting all our clients know," Mr Mills said.

He said there were concerns among pool owners about how often the pool inspections will be required, who will be authorised to do it and the potential cost.

The online survey to gauge community preferences is being conducted until October 4 at http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au.

You can register your pool online at http://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au



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