26 September 2023

Pool reforms to save kids drowning

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The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) is working to make home swimming pools safer with a proposal to enforce modern safety standards.

Calling for feedback on its Home Swimming Pool Safety Reforms consultation paper, EPSDD said in the ACT, the home swimming pool was the most common location for drowning death and injury for children under the age of five.

“It is not only children who live at houses with swimming pools who drown,” EPSDD said.

“Children and relatives who may be visiting and neighbourhood children are also at risk,” it said.

“Government is committed to preventing death and serious injuries from drownings and near drownings in home swimming pools.”

EPSDD said regulatory reforms would be introduced this year requiring all home swimming pools to have a barrier compliant with modern safety standards (within a specified transition period).

It said that at present, pool owners must comply with the standard that applied when their pool was constructed, unless substantial changes had been made to the barrier.

“The reforms will apply to all ACT home swimming pools and spa pools that are capable of containing water to a depth greater than 30cm,” the Directorate said.

It called for Canberrans to have their say on the reforms by 15 March.

EPSDD’s 12-page Consultation Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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