Mandatory inspections of residents’ swimming pools across the shire are set for an overhaul with the council looking to implement a new inspection program.
Grant Johnson, the council's director of community and business, said the need for a new program was due to pool safety and the current policy being outdated.
With about 200 swimming pools in the Junee Shire, Mr Johnson said that it was a community issue.
“Backyard swimming pools can be great fun; however, they are a significant responsibility for the landowner and occupier as drowning of young children can happen quickly and silently,” he said.
“Junee Shire Council is concerned about the dangers presented to young children, particularly those under the age of five years, by domestic swimming pools,” he said.
The 2016–17 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report showed that drownings in swimming pool was the fourth common out of eight locations.
Forty-four people drowned in pools during that period – the 10-year average leading up to 2016 was 42.
Asked if there were concerns about pool drownings in the shire, Mr Johnson said “there have been no issues since the policy was last implemented”.
“The main driving factor was a proactive review of a five-year old policy.
“It presents an opportunity to make contact with pool owners and remind them of the importance of pool safety as we head towards the spring and summer season,” he said.
It presents an opportunity to make contact with pool owners and remind them of the importance of pool safety as we head towards the spring and summer season.- Grant Johnson, director of community and business
The current policy – Swimming Pool Safety Policy – was adopted in November 2013.
It contains information and requirements about the construction, inspection and safety of private swimming pools within the Junee LGA.
“The existing policy contains a lot of information that is not relevant and commits the council to undertake unnecessary and costly inspections of private swimming pools,” Mr Johnson said.
The draft program – which is an agenda at the council’s July 17 meeting – will be developed further with community consultation.
Residents will have the chance to comment on the draft program during a 28-day period in which the council aims to adopt before December 2018.
The council will write to all property owners listed on the NSW Swimming Pool Register to raise their awareness about pool safety and to seek comment on the draft program.
Further, the council will receive a further report following the period of advertising and seeking of public comments.
The draft program and current safety policy required to meet the NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992.