search iconlogin icon

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

Advocates Demand Regular Pool Fence Checks

stakeholder logos

14 July 2017

Hon Richard Wynne Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Nicholson Street
East Melbourne, VIC 3002

Dear Minister Wynne,

RE: Children drowning in home pools in Victoria and the release of the Regulatory Impact Statement - Building Regulations 2017

The Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Committee (VSPSSC) and Community Issue Based Working Group (CIBWG) was formed in 2010 to provide recommendations and strategies aimed at reducing the number of drowning deaths and injury of young children in home swimming pools.

In 2012, the CIBWG provided a ‘Summary of the Victorian Situation’ report to Government and Industry stakeholders. The CIBWG included Life Saving Victoria (LSV), Kidsafe, the Victorian Building Commission, Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA), Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, Municipal Association Victoria (MAV), Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV). The CIBWG now also includes the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), Landscaping Victoria, Coroners Prevention Unit (CPU), and State Government’s Building Advisory Committee (BAC). Since 2012, the Committee and the individual organisations have made multiple submissions in an attempt to reduce the rate of childhood injury and fatality.

The charter of the VSPSSC is to address the issues in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy 2016-2020. Namely, to Reduce Drowning Deaths in Children aged 0-14 (pages 14-15):

Goal Key Objective

1a. Reduce Drowning deaths in Children Aged 0-4 i. Strengthen child drowning prevention knowledge, programs and water safety awareness campaigns that raise awareness of the importance of adult supervision, pool barriers, water familiarisation and CPR. iii. Advocate for local and state government to include mandatory home pool fence monitoring and maintenance compliance of four sided pool fencing as part of state building regulations.

The CIBWG recently reconvened post the release of the ‘Regulatory Impact Statement- Building Regulations 2017’, and determined:

The collective of subject matter experts of the home pool and spa industry unanimously agree that the solution to managing the safety - and preventing injury and death of Victorian children in and around home pools and spas - is to legislate Mandatory Barrier Inspections at sale or lease of a property, or every three years, for all residential properties in Victoria.

The empirical evidence demonstrates that Mandatory Barrier Inspections will reduce toddler fatalities. When Mandatory Barrier Inspections are legislated in Victoria, we will start to see a reduction in the rate of injury and loss of life.

1. The CIBWG is committed to the recommendation that there needs to be a mandatory certificate of compliance for home pool and spa safety barriers issued every 3 years, and prior to sale or lease of a property, conducted by independent inspectors. A self-assessment tool should be utilised by the owner or property manager on an annual basis between the mandatory inspections.

To achieve this outcome requires a compulsory pool and spa register, a single inspection tool and a management database to ensure consistency of inspections undertaken along with annual reporting. The database to be held by local councils, as is already the case for matters such as building permits, food premises, rooming houses and pet registration.

Registering a home swimming pool or spa must be compulsory and an appropriate period of time allowed to achieve compliance. Simultaneously there needs to be comprehensive communications around the requirements and consequences, to raise knowledge and awareness of pool owners. An amnesty period of 12 months should be considered once council databases have been established to record registrations and appropriate notification sent out with rate notices and reminders. Property owners should be responsible for maintaining the barrier and the occupier responsible for effective operation. These requirements must be included in the Contract of Sale and rental agreements. The requirements of the owner need to be included in the Residential Tenancies Act. The requirements of the occupier also need to be included, so that property managers/landlords will be able to issue a breach of duty notice.

Once we know the home pool and spa locations, then management of the inspection process, annual reporting and targeted education programs take effect.

Mandatory barrier inspections will require the introduction of a Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Inspectors course to reduce the reliance of undertaking inspections which is currently limited to registered, i) building surveyors and ii) building inspectors. It is proposed that a course similar to the Swimming Pool Safety Inspectors course (31005QLD) is developed and delivered in Victoria. Following the development of the course by Royal Lifesaving Society - Australia and Royal Life Saving Society Queensland, the course is now delivered and accepted in NSW and SA.

Registration and qualifications of inspectors would be subject to regulation by the Victorian Building Authority. Inspectors will issue certificates of compliance or non-compliance which will be forwarded to local councils.

The outcome of the inspection with the self-assessment tool would be attached to the record held by council. Owners would be required to lodge annual maintenance/ compliance reports with council and pay an appropriate management fee to cover council administration costs. Infringement penalties should apply for noncompliance.

2. The CIBWG is committed to the recommendation that there needs to be targeted, ongoing education for home pool owners promoting pool safety, supervision and owner responsibility for maintenance. Resources need to be developed and updated to ensure a consistent message. A targeted action plan for dissemination of resources should be developed once a database of pools has been established. Communications should be State Government-led, as they are in other drowning and health related prevention strategies. CPR signage must be made compulsory in order to reduce the consequences once an immersion incident has taken place.

3. The CIBWG is committed to the recommendation that there needs to be a notification system following a fatal or non-fatal immersion incident of a child under 5 years in a home pool or spa.

Notification to go to the following groups:

i) Local government where incident occurs to conduct a follow-up compliance inspection
ii) Department of Human Services (DHS) to follow-up any issues of child neglect.
iii) Victorian Building Authority as the Regulatory body
iv) Life Saving Victoria as the peak water safety agency in Victoria and author of the Victorian Drowning Report, to ensure accurate reporting of drowning incidents

4. The CIBWG is committed to the recommendation that data should be collected, collated and reported on pool safety compliance. The number of home pool inspections conducted and the level of compliance should be reported on an annual basis.

Currently there is a lack of accurate data collected and collated on the number of home pool inspections and the level of compliance within Victorian local government areas.

Collectively, all industry stakeholders necessitate that Mandatory Barrier Inspections be legislated in Victoria immediately.

Yours sincerely,
Stakeholder signatures

stakeholder logosAdvocates Demand Regular Pool Fence Checks

The Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) today led a collaboration of key stakeholders* to deliver a letter to Planning Minister Richard Wynne demanding 3-yearly Mandatory Barrier Inspections in Victoria.

SPASA CEO Brendan Watkins says, “The time for talk is over. In partnership with like-minded stakeholders, SPASA has been lobbying State Government of both persuasions for a decade now, but the sitting Minister continues to dither on this critical safety measure. Multiple reports from Victorian Councils & Shires show the average fail-rate of pool barrier compliance is 80%+. The fundamental problem in Victoria is very clearly a lack of ongoing pool barrier maintenance”.

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.

Empirical evidence demonstrates that Mandatory Barrier Inspections reduce toddler fatalities. Since 1992, Western Australia has achieved an 80% reduction in the rate of fatalities since the implementation of their Mandatory Barrier Inspection program.

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

Watkins says, “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.”

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

SPASA Victoria Media Release - Industry First Stakeholder Collaboration on Mandatory Barrier Inspection Legislation - 17 July 2017

See SPASAs Pool & Spa Safety Campaign Website HERE

 

For further information please contact:

Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator, Telephone: 03 9501 2040 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Media Comment: Brendan Watkins, CEO SPASA - 0417 385 929

 

 

*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

Health Benefits of SwimmingA new study that evidences the health and well-being benefits of swimming has just been released. The study has found that:

  • Swimming is uniquely placed to support people throughout their entire life
  • Swimming lowers the risk of early death by 28 per cent
  • Swimming lessons help children to develop skills quicker
  • Swimming and aquatic activity is a safe, cost-effective and viable option for healthcare professionals to signpost patients
  • Call for more research on the impact of physical activity on mental health and long term conditions
The report shows that the unique benefits of water make it the perfect place for people of all ages to exercise, particularly those with long term health conditions.

The report also found evidence that swimmers live longer and regular swimming helps older people stay mentally and physically fit. Importantly, it also showed that participation in swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker than those who do not have lessons.

The findings of the report will be used to raise awareness within the health profession that swimming is a safe, cost effective and viable option to signpost patients.

There is also a call on the wider health and sports sector to come together and invest in further research on the impact of physical activity on mental health and long term conditions.

The reports remit was developed by the Swimming and Health Commission under the Chairmanship of Professor Ian Cumming. The Health Education England Chief Executive, said: “The Swimming and Health Commission was established by Swim England to explore the evidence base for the health benefits of swimming.

The resulting academic report is a ground-breaking collection of papers that identify striking and robust evidence for the significant improvements in health and quality of life that swimming produces.

“Swim England is the first sport governing body to support such an in-depth investigation of its relationship with health and wellbeing and I would like to applaud them for their foresight and for producing a piece of work that I am sure will become a reference document for many years to come.”

The full Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report and Swim England’s response can be accessed HERE.

  

Read this article in full HERE

More Articles ...

  1. SPASA Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins speaks out on 98.7 RPP FM
  2. Government Completely Misses the Point on Pool Barrier Safety
  3. State Government Defies Coroner & Rest of Australia on Toddler Safety
  4. “Groundhog Day” – Government Allows Victorian Children to Remain At Risk
  5. Pools Add At Least $140,000 In Value To A House
  6. Great coverage received by The Pool and Spa Review!
  7. The Age & Herald Sun Promote the Value of Pools
  8. Aussies Prepare For A Scorcher Summer - Pool & Spa Expo The Place To Be
  9. SPASA Victoria Media Release - Victorian Kids Remain At Risk Until Laws Change
  10. Victorian Backyard Pool Safety Laws Dangerously Lagging - Western Australia Leads the Nation
  11. New Government Primary School Swim Goal Applauded – But What About our Toddlers?
  12. Media Claim Most Victorian Pools Fail Safety Laws – When Will Government Act?
  13. Enrolments for VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program Now Open
  14. 2016 Awards of Excellence winners announced
  15. VBA Warns Against Web DIY Videos
  16. Temporary and Inflatable Pools and Spas Must Have A Safety Barrier
  17. The Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo is on This Weekend!
  18. SPASA Spa Sector Ad Launched
  19. Pool Fencing Rules Clarified
  20. 2016 SPASA Industry Training - It's Here
  21. Buyer Beware: Kit Pools & Unregistered Pool Builders
  22. Kit Pools & Owner Builders - Traps for Consumers
  23. Pools, Spas and Safety Barriers Must Meet Australian Standards
  24. Industry Invests $100,000 to Promote Pool & Spa Ownership
  25. 2015 Awards of Excellence
  26. Owner Builder Rules Clarified to Protect Consumers
  27. Making A Splash!
  28. SPASA Australia Awards Announced
  29. Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard
  30. SPASA Launches "A Lifetime Of Memories' Ad
  31. Kit Pool Insurance Trap For Consumers Who Engage Unregistered Builders
  32. Awards of Excellence 2014 Winners Announced
  33. Consumer Alert - Vogue Pools & Spas
  34. SPASA Australia Announces Finalists
  35. Vote For The Best Pool In Australia
  36. Buy a Pool & Invest In Your Future
  37. Huge Victorian Crowd Come Out to Invest in the Backyard Dream
  38. Inaugural National Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner Announced
  39. Joint SPASA Australia & SPASA Alliance Announcement
  40. SPASA Victoria 2013 Awards of Excellence Winners
  41. SPASA AUSTRALIA FORUM REPORT
  42. SPASA Australia Hosts Successful DRED Standard Forum
  43. SPASA Australia Announces Executive Appointments
  44. SPASA Victoria Member Triumph at Chelsea Flower Show
  45. National Industry Body appoints State CEO to CPSISC Committee
  46. UNITED STATES OF SPASA
  47. SPASA Australia Steps Up
  48. Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo to Showcase all the Latest in Water Fun & Fitness
  49. SPASA NSW Goes It Alone
  50. Official Comment on the Swimming Pool & Spa Alliance of Australia
  51. Response to The Swimming Pool & Spa Alliance of Australia Launch
  52. SPASA Australia 2012 National Pool & Spa of the Year Awards
  53. 2012 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
  54. SPASA Australia 2011 National Pool & Spa of the Year Awards
  55. 2011 Awards Winners
  56. SPASA Accredited as CPD Provider
  57. SPASA Australia National Peak Body for the Swimming Pool & Spa Industry
  58. Important Information For Swimming Pool Owners In Flood Affected Areas
  59. 2010 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
  60. SPASA Announced as Sponsor of the National 2010 savewater! awards
  61. SPASA Victoria Supports Call for Prompt Changes to Safety Standard
  62. Response to new Four-sided Pool Fencing Regulations
  63. Water Safety Week 2009
  64. 2009 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
  65. SPASA Bushfire Appeal Auction Raises $15,975.00
  66. SPLASH OUT, DIVE IN & ADD VALUE
  67. 2008 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
  68. Dive in to Victoria’s first water-efficient pool
  69. Pool & Spa Expo Attracts Record
  70. Is It Sink or Swim?
  71. Pool industry dives into water recycling and storage
  72. Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Industry Announces 2007 Awards of Excellence
  73. Yes, You Can Fill Your New Pool or Spa with Water
  74. Swimming Pool Industry Fights Back Today 10,000 Jobs are on the Line
  75. Pool & Spa Water Will Be Available
  76. Water Authorities to Clarify Swimming Pool & Spa Filling
  77. Swimming Pool Industry Identifies Solution for Survival
  78. Swimming Pool Industry Fights for Jobs
  79. Water Available for Swimming Pools
  80. Swimming Pool Industry Responds to Water Restrictions
  81. Pool & Spa Shows Set to Make a Big Splash!
  82. Swimming Pool Industry Goes To Ground
  83. Kit Pools Insurance Trap for Consumers with Unlicensed Pool Builders
  84. Victorian Swimming Pool Industry Announces 2006 Awards
  85. Commonwealth Games Swimmers Train in Recycled Water
  86. Swimming Pool Fire Safety Campaign
pool9.jpg
pool17.jpg
pool23.jpg