The magnificent Melbourne Room of the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) was alight on Saturday night as winners of the 2019 SPASA Victoria Awards of Excellence were announced.
With over 440 industry stakeholders in attendance, the SPASA Victoria Awards of Excellence Gala night is the largest industry event of its kind in Australia and the most anticipated industry event on the Victorian calendar.
A total of 39 Awards of Excellence categories made up the SPASA Victoria Awards of Excellence program, including major awards - Product of the Year, Spa of the Year and Remco Pool of the Year.
The 2019 Remco Pool of the Year was awarded to Laguna Pools, the 2019 Spa of the Year Award was awarded to Out From The Blue and the 2019 Product of the Year went to Sunbather for their CoolPv product.
For the first time ever, SPASA Victoria also recognised ‘Industry Achievement’ milestones, acknowledging organisations that have demonstrated longevity within the Victorian pool and spa industry – Sunbather 45 years, Albatross Swimming Pool (Aust) 50 years and Neptune Swimming Pools 60 years.
Expertly emceed by Australian media personality and former Australian rules football player Sam Kekovich, guests were treated to mid-show entertainment by Marcus ‘Elvis’ Jackson and cover band ‘Unlimited’.
A total of 45 Gold and Highly Commended awards were presented to well deserving SPASA Victoria members.
CEO of SPASA Victoria, Chris Samartzis said, "This year's high number of award entrants again demonstrates excellence across the board and proves that SPASA Victoria members are true leaders within the national industry. Our high award entry numbers show healthy competition amongst our most passionate and talented members.”
“The Victorian pool and spa association represents a very mature industry which has evolved over the past 60 years to become truly world class. The innovation and sheer ‘wow factor’ present in Victorian backyards exceeds much of what is celebrated in Europe and America. There’s never been a better time to invest in a pool or spa,” Mr Samartzis said.
With images of the best pools and spas in Victoria on prominent display around the prestigious Melbourne Room, guests were treated to superb food and entertainment which led to a night enjoyed by all.
The Association Achievement of the Year Award is presented to an association that has made an outstanding achievement in a particular project, area of operations, governance, activity or initiative.
“SPASA Victoria is thrilled to be nominated for this important award. For over a decade, SPASA Victoria advocated for mandatory pool and spa barrier inspections in Victoria and we are elated that the decision to implement a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria has been made by the Andrews Government,” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.
The award is judged by Associations Forum, a body committed to assisting associations and charities in governance, operations, membership and finances.
SPASA Victoria entered this award with a submission on their Pool and Spa Safety campaign, which resulted in legislation change that mandated pool and spa barrier inspections in Victoria.
The Association Awards will be presented at Association Forum’s National Conference Dinner on Monday 15 July 2019.
For further information please contact:
Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator
For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria –
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The backyard pool was the most successful keyword used by Victorian house hunters, with nearly 3 million finding properties using the terms 'pool' and 'swimming pool' on realestate.com.au in 2018. But it’s no surprise to Barry Plant agent Kieron Hunter who said the backyard pool is in vogue, especially around Highton.
Yet it wasn’t always that way, with Geelong buyers once looking at them as all maintenance and hassle, Mr Hunter said. Buyers 20 years ago were even provided the estimated cost of filling them in, he said.
“Pools are so in vogue right now — everybody wants a pool,” he said. “The technology has changed now in how they actually run, how they’re filtered, how the computer systems work. They pretty much manage themselves, some are even self-cleaning, and you don’t have to be handling chemicals.”
More than 300 properties with swimming pools were traded in the past 12 months, data from CoreLogic found. Mr Hunter said a pool was a must-have for a property at the top end of the Highton market.
“They are definitely a requirement when you start getting into about the $900,000 range. “They want a pool, or room to put a pool,” he said.
Mr Hunter said entertaining is top priority in high-end markets and how much the outdoor deck is kitted out will dictate the level of interest a property attracts. He said crowds would be almost double to see a similar build house where the deck has screens and a pizza oven, compared to one with a bit of a deck.
Ray White, Lara agent Terry Cleary said while people always seek internal features like ensuites and airconditioning, the pool, entertainment area and a shed remained the most sought after.
“For families and grandparents, garages and pools remain very high on the checklists,” he said. “When it comes to outside, entertainment areas with pools, outdoor areas and sheds remain very high.
The list of most successful keyword search terms shows buyers value entertaining, views and the water more than ensuring a house has a study, built-in robes or solar panels.
This decision comes after a long-running campaign by SPASA Victoria - and other leading industry stakeholders - who have stridently promoted the importance of a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria for many years.
It was only one year ago that SPASA Victoria - along with many other industry stakeholders – were surprised at the Government’s announcement of proposed new legislation which would have forced thousands of pool and spa owners to endure the inconvenience and expense of re-fencing their pool and/or spa areas for no guaranteed improved safety outcome.
“It is with great delight that the decision to implement a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria has been made by the Government. To their credit, the Andrews Government saw the logic and reason behind our advocacy. With the support of the opposition, the community and other leading industry stakeholders, this critical piece of legislation has now been officially passed in Parliament. Our advocacy and reasoning has been heard and acted upon. Thank you Minister Richard Wynne,” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.
After years of heavy media promotion along with highly strategic advocacy, the hard work and passion of those within the pool and spa industry has delivered a great result for Victoria.
For further information please contact:
Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator
For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria – 0418 443 758
Former Olympian Matt Welsh OAM has once again joined Kidsafe Victoria to help save lives over Summer at the launch of their ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA Victoria) is delighted to continue to collaborate with Kidsafe on this important campaign.
Kidsafe’s national ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign calls on all pool and spa owners to check the safety and compliance of their pool or spa barrier when they change their clocks at the beginning of daylight saving time on Sunday October 7th 2018.
SPASA Victoria is excited to collaborate in this campaign launch today, as an important follow-on to many years of advocacy work done on pool and spa safety in Victoria. Visit SPASA Victoria’s pool and spa safety advocacy page here https://www.spasavic.com.au/pool-spa-safety-campaign/campaign-overview
SPASA Victoria is strongly of the view that inspections of pool and spa barriers should be mandatory in Victoria. CEO Chris Samartzis says, “Pool and spa barrier inspections are currently mandatory in only three states - NSW, QLD and WA. Since the introduction of mandatory inspections in WA in 1992, there has been an 80% reduction in the rate of toddler drownings.”
While safety barriers can be effective in reducing the risk of drowning incidents, evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty, or non-compliant with Australian standards.
"Pool and spa barriers are exposed to the extremes of weather all year round which can lead to rust, loose or missing bolts or screws and wear and tear over time. It's critical that pool and spa owners regularly check and maintain their barriers to ensure they are safe and fully compliant," Samartzis says.
“Common faults or non-compliance issues include gates and doors that are no longer self-closing or latching, gates that are propped open and climbable objects near the barrier,” added Kidsafe Ambassador Mr Welsh. “There is no better use of 15 minutes of your time than checking the safety of your pool barrier in preparation for the warm summer months ahead. By doing so, you could save a life.”
This October 7th, take 15 minutes to check the safety of your pool barrier – because Safe Barriers Save Lives.
For further information on this campaign please visit kidsafevic.com.au
To find out more about pool and spa barrier regulations visit http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/21071/PN-05-2018-Swimming-Pool-and-Spa-Safety.pdf
This campaign is proudly supported by SPASA Victoria, Play it Safe by the Water, Safetech Hardware, Protector Aluminium and The Victorian Pool Check & Compliance Agency
Common issues with pool fences include: