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vbaThe Victorian Building Authority has released its top seven warning signs of an unregistered builder.

Building a home, renovating your property or installing a swimming pool or spa will likely be one of the biggest investments a home owner will ever make. 

To protect themselves from rogue practitioners, the VBA urges home owners to do their research and develop good communication lines with their builder.

VBA Acting Chief Executive Officer Murray Smith said it was also important to understand the role of the building surveyor and the VBA before starting the construction process. 

“It is only through your relationship with your builder or building surveyor that you will fully understand how your project is going,” Mr. Smith said. 

“Seek regular updates, take photographs and ensure any variations to plans are agreed in writing by you and the practitioner.” 

The VBA’s top 7 warning signs of an unregistered builder

  • No results are found when you type the builder’s name into the VBA’s online ‘Find a Practitioner’ tool
  • The builder does not ask you to enter into a written contract before the project starts
  • They ask for too much money up-front or at each set payment stage. By law in Victoria, a deposit can be no more than five per cent of the total project cost (projects over $20,000)
  • They are not prepared to tell you about or show you what homes they have recently built
  • They cannot or will not show you their VBA ID card
  • The builder is not a member of an industry body
  • You are not given a copy of the builder’s domestic building insurance policy or a certificate of currency covering your property before construction

Always Choose a SPASA Member!

SPASA Members are industry professionals and are at the forefront of the industry in regards to their experience, professionalism and reputation.

Bound by the Association’s strict Code of Ethics, all SPASA members have demonstrated a history of successful, ethical trading and knowledge appropriate to their membership category.

Look for the SPASA member logo to ensure you are dealing with an industry professional.

The first questions you should always ask are:

“Are You A Registered Building Practitioner?”
“Are you a SPASA Pool Builder Member?”
“Do you use a SPASA Pool Construction Contract?”

You can Find a SPASA Member HERE

For more information visit the SPASA Victoria website

Former Olympian Matt Welsh OAM has joined Kidsafe Australia to help save lives over summer at the launch of their ‘Saving Lives’ Pool Party Campaign.

The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) is delighted to continue to collaborate with Kidsafe on this important campaign and this year for the first time has financially committed to help fund this vital annual safety check program.

Kidsafe’s national ‘Save the Date’ campaign calls on all pool and spa owners to sign up to Kidsafe’s ‘Pool Party’ event on Facebook and pledge to check the safety of their pool or spa barrier when they change their clocks at the beginning of daylight saving time on Sunday October 1.

SPASA Victoria was excited to see this initiative launched on 19th September, as an important follow-on to many years of advocacy work done on pool and spa safety in Victoria. Visit SPASA’s pool and spa safety advocacy page here www.spasavic.com.au/pool-spa-safety-campaign.

Between 2004 and 2015, Victoria lost 25 children in backyard pool drowning fatalities. SPASA Victoria is strongly of the view that inspections of pool and spa barriers should be mandatory in Victoria.

SPASA Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins said, “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.

“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,” said 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 1st, take 15 minutes to check the safety of your pool barrier – because Safe Barriers Save Lives.

For further information on the campaign, please visit kidsafevic.com.au and to find out more about pool and spa barrier regulations visit
www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumer-resources/building/pages/swimming-pools

Read SPASA Victoria's Media Release HERE

Kidsafe Backyard Pool Safety Campaign logos Sept 2017

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Key messages:

  • Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 in Australia, with backyard pools being the most common location for drowning incidents to occur
  • 20 seconds is all it takes for a toddler to drown
  • Simply having a pool/spa barrier in place isn’t enough on its own to keep children safe. A large number of swimming pool drowning incidents are a result of faulty or non-compliant pool/spa barriers
  • Regular maintenance is necessary. It takes approximately 15 minutes to check your barrier thoroughly using Life Saving Victoria’s Home Pool Safety Assessment
  • Active adult supervision is the key to keeping children safe around water
  • Need help? Visit kidsafevic.com.au to use the free Home Pool Safety Assessment

Common issues with pool fences include:

  • Gates and doors that don’t self-latch or self-close
  • Climbable objects near the barrier e.g. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool fencing which could allow a child to climb over the fence
  • Excess space under the fence, and;
  • Misuse (e.g. propping the pool gate open)

Action

All you need to complete the audit is your phone/tablet, or a print out of the online pool barrier questions and a tape measure

Kidsafe Pool Barrier Campaign 2017 FB Cover SavethedateV2

Leisurescape Pools GeelongA Geelong pool and spa business has made a big splash nationally!

Leisurescape Pools and Spas has been recognised for outstanding achievements in creativity, innovation and design excellence at the SPASA National Awards of Excellence in Sydney.

Managing director Jack Whitton said he and his staff were proud to receive such an honour, given the competitiveness of the industry. “It’s nice to be recognised for years of hard work and passion in this industry,” he said. “This annual SPASA celebration of excellence is a result of months of tireless work by Leisurescape Pools and Spas, who constantly strive to set new pool and spa industry benchmarks. In this year’s judging, Leisurescape collected the National Award of Excellence in best pre-engineered spa, reflecting our company’s commitment to quality and service.”

Demand for swimming pools and spas across the Greater Geelong region has reportedly increased, despite tough laws introduced by the state and federal governments. “It’s getting busier and busier all the time - despite economic times looking glum,” Leisurescape’s executive manager Liz Whitton said. “Australians are all about leisure.”

Geelong resident Duncan Oliver decided to buy a swim spa last year.He said that while the costs of maintaining it were high, he had no regrets. “The kids love it and it’s great for teaching them to swim,” he said.“It took a while to set the money for it aside, but it’s a great addition to the home.”

'Local Pool of Talent' - Geelong Advertiser, Geelong - 15 Sep 2017

shutterstock 515212096 old lady excercising smallWhile swimming is most often associated with Summer, it's a physical activity that anyone can participate in at any time of the year.
 
Of course when it gets hot, everyone starts looking around for the friend with the pool or swim spa. The next best bet - a local club or community pool - the cleaner and less crowded the better!

Swimming isn't just a fun way to cool off during the Summer. Swimming is one of the few activities that doesn't cost a lot of money or require equipment – and it holds no age or ability barrier.

CEO of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) Brendan Watkins says, “Swimming pools and spas are wonderful additions to the lifestyle of every Australian home. Exercise - and the social capital provided by a pool or spa - is immeasurable. With the current childhood obesity epidemic, the health and fitness benefits of pool and spa ownership are undeniable.”

Here’s an article featuring 25 compelling reasons to make swimming a part of your life

Here are just some of those reasons:

  • Increases Flexibility
  • Burns Calories
  • Helps You Quit Smoking
  • Improves Coordination and Posture
  • Improves Posture
  • Good for Anyone and Everyone
  • Total-Body Workout
  • Cardio Conditioning
  • Beats the Heat
  • Self-Esteem
  • Taller, Longer, Leaner Body
  • ​Weight Loss
  • Socialisation
  • Team and Individual Sport
  • Prevents Drowning
  • Improves Mental Health
  • Helps With Chronic Diseases, Post-Op, and as Physical Therapy
  • Relieves Stress
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Family Oriented
  • Joints

See SPASA’s new webpage on 'The Benefits of Pool & Spa Ownership' HERE

2017 awards email july topWith more than 430 industry stakeholders in attendance, the SPASA Awards of Excellence Gala night is the most anticipated event on the Victorian calendar.

A total of 40 Awards of Excellence categories made up the SPASA Awards of Excellence program, including major awards Product of the Year and Remco Pool of the Year.  

The 2017 Remco Pool of the Year was awarded to Apex Pools & Spas while Product of the Year went to Sunbather for their Commercial DownUnder + Superslave Cover System.

Hosted by popular entertainers Rusty Berther and Mike McLeish, guests were treated to songs and comedy by the duo ‘Rusty and Another Guy’. A total of 71 Gold and Highly Commended awards were presented to well deserving SPASA members.

SPASA President John D'Arcy congratulated all winners and stated, “This year’s entrants demonstrate excellence across the board and prove that SPASA members truly are leaders within the Australian industry. The calibre of entries just gets better year after year".

With sumptuous food prepared by renowned caterer Epicure and images of all award entries prominently displayed up in lights on the MCG scoreboards, a fabulous night was enjoyed by all.

The full list of award winners and photos can be seen HERE

006SPASA 178SPASA 191SPASA

Media pic Kensington 17 July 2017 smallStakeholders Still Waiting on Response from Minister

Since Monday’s media launch of an historic industry stakeholder collaboration campaign for mandatory barrier inspection legislation in Victoria, there has been no response from the Planning Minister or his department.

This silence comes on the back of a decade of lobbying by industry to be heard on this critical safety issue.

CEO of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) Brendan Watkins says, “The time for talk is over. The Planning Minister continues to dither on this critical safety measure. It’s an extraordinary achievement to bring together seven diverse organisations to lobby for the same single piece of legislation. All pool-related stakeholders have joined together to demand that the Minister act now to keep our toddlers safe. There’s no doubt that communities are enhanced by the enormous social capital provided by backyard pools, but we must ensure the barriers are maintained. The safest and most obvious way forward here is clearly Mandatory Barrier Inspections.”

Multiple Victorian Coroners, the World Health Organisation, Lifesaving Victoria, Kidsafe, Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group, Landscaping Victoria, Royal Life Saving  & SPASA all endorse Mandatory Barrier Inspections.

This first-ever collaborative approach by industry, safety and building stakeholders all agree that the solution to managing safety - and preventing injury and death of Victorian toddlers around residential pools and spas - is to legislate Mandatory Barrier Inspections at sale or lease of a property, or every three years.

Key industry stakeholders continue to demand that Mandatory Barrier Inspections be legislated in Victoria immediately.

Read the Key Industry Stakeholder letter to Planning Minister Richard Wynne HERE

SPASA Victoria Media Release - Government Silent on Stakeholder Collaboration - 19 July 2017

See SPASAs Pool & Spa Safety Campaign Website HERE

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  5. SPASA Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins speaks out on 98.7 RPP FM
  6. Government Completely Misses the Point on Pool Barrier Safety
  7. State Government Defies Coroner & Rest of Australia on Toddler Safety
  8. “Groundhog Day” – Government Allows Victorian Children to Remain At Risk
  9. Pools Add At Least $140,000 In Value To A House
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  12. Aussies Prepare For A Scorcher Summer - Pool & Spa Expo The Place To Be
  13. SPASA Victoria Media Release - Victorian Kids Remain At Risk Until Laws Change
  14. Victorian Backyard Pool Safety Laws Dangerously Lagging - Western Australia Leads the Nation
  15. New Government Primary School Swim Goal Applauded – But What About our Toddlers?
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  28. Industry Invests $100,000 to Promote Pool & Spa Ownership
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