The State Government has introduced new groundbreaking reforms for backyard pool and spa fencing.
The changes mean that house walls or fence walls will no longer be able to form part of a pool barrier and uniform standards will apply for all pools regardless of when they were built.
The changes come after the “Make Pools Safe” campaign called for changes following the drowning of a Croydon South toddler in his unfenced backyard pool. Less than two months after the campaign was launched, the Government admitted that more needed to be done and reviewed pool fencing laws.
Pool and Spa owners will be given a grace period of three years and will need to comply by 2020. They will need to install compliant safety barriers, pool fences and safety gates.
The Victorian State Government confirmed changes to The Building Act, which will grant inspectors new powers to enter and inspect premises to ensure they comply with the standards.
A statewide pool registrar is being considered and mandatory inspections every three years.
“We know that bringing pools up to date will involve additional cost, but we make no apology for taking action to prevent these tragic deaths” said Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning.
The coroner had last week called for urgent reforms following another backyard drowning inquest into a Melton South toddler at a rental property.