Do you own a Queensland property with a pool? If so, you should know by now that since 2010, you need pool safety certification every time you buy, sell or lease a property.
Unfortunately, since the inception of the pool safety laws in December 2010, almost ten years on, the majority of Queensland pool owners still don’t comply and are now at risk of fines up to $6000.
Take a look at the 2016 Queensland Census. It shows that there are 1,987,313 private dwellings in Qld with an average household size of 2.6. What’s more, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 17,9% of Queensland properties have swimming pools, which means that there are an estimated 355,729 swimming pools in Queensland alone.
Now, here’s the real scary statistic. In 2019, out of the 355,729 swimming pools in Queensland, only 36,243 of them were registered and have valid pool safety certification, according to the QBCC’s recent article ‘Watch out for dodgy pool inspectors’.
In addition to the above statistics, it would be safe to assume from the figures above that the average household would have at least one child living on each property. As a result, 319,486 swimming pools have not been registered and inspected by a licensed pool safety inspector since 2010. As it stands, these unregistered swimming pools would be deemed unsafe and non-compliant with the new Queensland pool safety laws.
Qld property owners are putting themselves at risk of fines amounting up to $6000, but also and more importantly, placing a child’s life at risk!
The QBCC cracks down on pool safety certification and non-compliance.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), has launched a campaign to crack down on non-compliance in pool safety and those who can’t produce pool safety certification for their properties.
With drowning remaining the leading cause of death for children aged under 5, Brett Bassett, QBCC Commissioner says “We need more vigilance around pool safety. One drowning fatality is one too many”.
Non-compliance of pool safety certification: Who is being targetted by the QBCC?
Property transactions are the focus of the state-wide audit by the QBCC’s pool safety unit. Property owners, selling or leasing properties with pools are at the top of the list. Including landlords and real estate agents. All who are squarely in the firing line for enforcement action if caught ignoring the pool safety laws.
Real estate agents are responsible for obtaining and facilitating pool safety certification.
Real estate agents, facilitating a lease at a residence with a non-shared pool, must obtain pool safety certification. Agents who ignore the certification requirements stand the risk of being referred by the QBCC to the Office of Fair Trading. Not only that but estate agents, overlooking the pool safety laws and requirements during property transactions, could face disciplinary proceedings following the Property Occupations Act 2014.
Landlords and Tenants are responsible for obtaining pool safety certification for every new lease contract.
The pool safety laws affect landlords and tenants alike. Every time you start a new lease, you need a new pool safety certificate. That said, if you’re a tenant entering into a new lease, you need to receive a new pool safety certificate to avoid any fines and most of all, safety risks. The QBCC urges tenants to contact them if there is no new pool safety certificate for the pool on the property that you are renting.
What is the fine for not having pool safety certification in Qld?
On the spot fines of more than $2000 are being issued to those who don’t have pool safety certification for their pools. That’s a chunk of money, considering a pool safety inspection would cost you only around $130 and keep you out of trouble with local government. Even worse, body corporates who fail to get pool safety certification for shared-pools face fines of over $6000. Not to mention, that local governments are also issuing penalties for failing to maintain pool barriers.
Do you need pool safety certification for temporary and inflatable pools?
Temporary and inflatable pools are ongoing compliance concerns according to Brett Basset at the QBCC. The law is clear that compliant; permanent fencing is needed around pools with the capacity to hold water more than 300 mm deep. Inflatable and temporary pools, available from local retailers all fall within this category. It’s a fact that these pools are a drowning risk for children under the age of 5—people who have these pools on their property face fines of over $800. A pool gate that has been propped open for convenience is a high safety risk and attracts a hefty $500 fine if found by a local government inspector. Even worse, body corporates are being fined $1500 if a pool gate is propped open upon inspection. Propping pool gates open for convenience sake is an illegal and colossal safety risk. Not to mention, a liability. Compliant pool gates meant to keep small children out of the pool area when there is no supervision around.
Brett Basset says he makes no apologies for taking the hard stance on pool safety compliance. “Children’s lives depend on it”.
In conclusion, now that you understand the importance of obtaining pool safety certification in Qld, we can help you get your pool safe. prevent drownings and avoid hefty fines.
How to get pool safety certification for your Gold Coast swimming pool:
Poolinspec does not offer pool safety fence repairs. We will, however, refer you to a reputable pool safety contractor who will get your repairs done without delay.
To find out more about the pool safety regulations and how Poolinspec can help you get your pool safe and compliant, call us on 0457 445 197.