Victorian Government urged to address "inadequate" approach to pool fencing

Wednesday, 03 May, 2017

A Victorian coroner has condemned the state’s inaction on swimming pool fencing compliance after finding that a two-year-old’s death by drowning was preventable.

Coroner Audrey Jamieson said that “the regulation of swimming pools in Victoria is inadequate” and recommended the state adopt a compliance system similar to that used in Queensland. This is reportedly the fourth time since 2012 that a Victorian coroner has recommended action to prevent child drownings.

SPASA Victoria has ramped up its lobbying of the Victorian Government in the wake of Jamieson’s comments, calling on the government to pass legislation to:

  • immediately make pool barrier compliance certification mandatory for all properties sold or leased in Victoria; and
  • introduce a mandatory barrier inspection protocol that ensures all residential properties with a pool or spa in Victoria are inspected every three years.

Elijah Meldrum drowned in 2015 after accessing a backyard swimming pool via a broken gate. The tenants of the property had reportedly neglected to inform the real estate agent that the gates were not functioning.

“Ms Jamieson’s call on the state government to overhaul pool fencing regulations and establish a program similar to that in Queensland is the fourth time since 2012 that a Victorian coroner has recommended action to prevent child drownings,” SPASA Victoria said in a media release.

“As responsible industry leaders, SPASA Victoria will campaign tirelessly until pool and spa barrier inspections are legislated in Victoria.”

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