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women s forumWith an all-female panel of experts, this forum will be a candid discussion on the challenges faced by women in industry, climbing the corporate ladder, marketing your business successfully and finding that perfect work-life balance. Ask questions and get advice. Don't miss it!
SPASA Victoria's Women In Industry Panel Event details:
Thursday 30 May 2019
11am - 2pm
Novotel Glen Waverley

Special Guest Panellists:

Katrina McCarter - Founder and CEO of Australian company 'Marketing to Mums'. Katrina is a marketing strategist who specialises in understanding mothers as a powerful market sector, through experience and research.
Katherine Grace - Passionate about effective, low-cost marketing for small and medium businesses. Speaker and webinar presenter for organisations including the HIA and the AIPP.Award winnning Business Coach (Asia-Pacific and Global awards for Best Client Results).
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Kirsten has substantial business skills and experience both within Australia and internationally and is an experienced non-executive director.


Pat Panetta - On the air since his community radio days as a 17 year old, Pat's sense of fun and warm style has always appealed to audiences.  With an honest approach and a creative mind, Pat is sure to entertain as the MC of this inaugural SPASA Victoria event.
Please join us for our 'Women in Industry' panel event 11am - 2pm at Novotel Glen Waverley on Thursday 30 May 2019. 
Champagne on arrival.
Finger food lunch provided.
This event is FREE to SPASA Victoria Members
Non-Members $45
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit our website to find out more article Mar 2019Backyard swimming pools have gone from scorned to superb features in the eyes of Geelong homebuyers.

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 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.

Read this article in full HERE

Pool Spa Fence LawsThe Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria is today elated at the State Government’s decision to implement a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria.

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.

SPASA Victoria Media Release - SPASA Victoria Claims Victory on Backyard Pool & Spa Safety


For further information please contact:

Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator

Telephone: 03 8526 7799 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria – 0418 443 758

Campaign Launch 2018Former 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

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

To find out more about pool and spa barrier regulations visit

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

Collaborating partners 2018


Campaign information

  • Kidsafe’s sixth annual ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign was launched on Tuesday 18th September by Olympic swimmer Matt Welsh
  • The campaign calls on all pool and spa owners to check the safety of their pool and spa barriers at the beginning of daylight saving on Sunday 7th October 2018
  • AFL great Rodney Eade features in the campaign video, providing a ¾ time pep talk to his team to remind them that when it comes to pool safety ‘the best offence is a good defence’.
  • Together with a compliant pool barrier that is regularly checked and maintained, your home pool defence should also include active adult supervision of children in and around water, water awareness and first aid knowledge to keep your family safe this season

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 or 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 and 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 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 eg pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool or spa barrier that could allow a child to climb over
  • Excess space under the fence
  • Misuse (eg propping the pool gate open)


  • 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


For further information please contact:

Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator

Telephone: 03 8526 7799 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria – 0418 443 758



Pool Spa Fence LawsMinister for Planning Richard Wynne says he is "Doing more to protect children and families from the tragedy of backyard drownings".

The Andrews Labor Government has today introduced new reforms in Victorian parliament to boost pool safety by establishing a register of swimming pools and new mandatory inspections to keep Victorians safe.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today introduced the Building Amendment (Registration of Trades and other matters) Bill 2018 – the next step in better protecting children from the dangers of unprotected pools and spas.

In a Victorian first, the reforms include a mandatory pool and spa register - administered by councils - to improve information about the location and safety standards of pools.

Preparations are already underway within the Victorian Building Authority to create a voluntary swimming pool register and online pool barrier compliance self-assessment tool in time for the 2018-19 summer period.

This new Bill will be debated in Parliament today and is hoped to be passed in coming weeks.

See the Government's Media Release on Boosting Pool Safety HERE

SPASA WNP logo 2018Since the collaboration and intellectual property sharing of our Water Neutral Pool Program with the South African Pool & Spa Association last year, the benefits of this innovative water-saving initiative are now being recognised and adopted internationally.

The drought in South Africa’s Western Cape Region was so severe, it was having a negative impact on their swimming pool industry, so much so that there was a proposal from the City of Cape Town council to put an indefinite ban on the construction and installation of all new swimming pools.

South Africa is by nature a water scarce region and in recent years, climate change has caused several droughts around the country. These conditions continue to affect a great many pool owners. The Western Cape in particular continues to face a severe drought, the most extreme in more than 100 years.

The members of South Africa's National Spa & Pool Institue (NSPI) have an innate respect for water and therefore launched this Water Neutral Pool initiative to encourage all pool owners to convert their existing pools to become Water Neutral.

All NSPI Members highly recommend that new pool owners follow the criteria to meet the standards of a Water Neutral Pool. They promote the important fact that owning a Water Neutral Pool will not only save water but will also minimise costs through reduced chemical, energy and water use. 

This success story illustrates how globally, we can all help to preserve our most valuable resource - water. And how pool ownership and conservation can easily and successfully go hand-in-hand. The Italian industry have also reached out to SPASA Victoria for assistance around water conservation for residential pools and are also adopting the Victorian program.

To see how South Africa's National Spa & Pool Institute has implemented SPASA Victoria's 'Water Neutral Pool Program' click HERE

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  2. ‘Pool’ The Most Popular Search Term Across Australia
  3. Mandatory Barrier Inspections to Become Law in Victoria
  4. SPASA Victoria Victorious - Retrospective Pool Barrier Upgrade Laws Abandoned
  5. AFL Star Pool Probe Highlights Unregistered Builder Danger
  6. Melbourne Property Market Tipped to Boom - Now is the Time to Dive In
  7. City Living Link to Obesity
  8. Visit the Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo for the Latest in Water Fitness, Recreation & Backyard Design
  9. Damn Good Reasons Why You Should Swim For Your Life
  10. SPASA Victoria’s ‘Water Neutral Pool Program’ Goes Global
  11. 7 Signs That Your Builder is Unregistered
  12. Pool and Spa Owners Urged to Take Action to Reduce Toddler Drownings
  13. Local Pool of Talent - Geelong Advertiser
  14. 25 Fantastic Reasons to Own a Pool or Spa
  15. Melbourne’s Iconic MCG Alight as Winners of 2017 Awards of Excellence Announced
  16. SPASA Victoria Media Release - Government Silence Deafening
  17. Industry First Stakeholder Collaboration
  18. Historic Stakeholder Collaboration Calls for Action on Swimming Pool Safety
  19. Major New Study On Health Benefits of Swimming Released
  20. Brendan Watkins CEO of SPASA Victoria on 3AW with Ross and John
  21. SPASA Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins speaks out on 98.7 RPP FM
  22. Government Completely Misses the Point on Pool Barrier Safety
  23. State Government Defies Coroner & Rest of Australia on Toddler Safety
  24. “Groundhog Day” – Government Allows Victorian Children to Remain At Risk
  25. Pools Add At Least $140,000 In Value To A House
  26. Great coverage received by The Pool and Spa Review!
  27. The Age & Herald Sun Promote the Value of Pools
  28. Aussies Prepare For A Scorcher Summer - Pool & Spa Expo The Place To Be
  29. SPASA Victoria Media Release - Victorian Kids Remain At Risk Until Laws Change
  30. Victorian Backyard Pool Safety Laws Dangerously Lagging - Western Australia Leads the Nation
  31. New Government Primary School Swim Goal Applauded – But What About our Toddlers?
  32. Media Claim Most Victorian Pools Fail Safety Laws – When Will Government Act?
  33. Enrolments for VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program Now Open
  34. 2016 Awards of Excellence winners announced
  35. VBA Warns Against Web DIY Videos
  36. Temporary and Inflatable Pools and Spas Must Have A Safety Barrier
  37. The Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo is on This Weekend!
  38. SPASA Victoria Spa Sector Ad Launched
  39. Pool Fencing Rules Clarified
  40. 2016 SPASA Victoria Industry Training - It's Here
  41. Buyer Beware: Kit Pools & Unregistered Pool Builders
  42. Kit Pools & Owner Builders - Traps for Consumers
  43. Pools, Spas and Safety Barriers Must Meet Australian Standards
  44. Industry Invests $100,000 to Promote Pool & Spa Ownership
  45. 2015 Awards of Excellence
  46. Owner Builder Rules Clarified to Protect Consumers
  47. Making A Splash!
  48. SPASA Australia Awards Announced
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  52. Awards of Excellence 2014 Winners Announced
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  54. SPASA Australia Announces Finalists
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  56. Buy a Pool & Invest In Your Future
  57. Huge Victorian Crowd Come Out to Invest in the Backyard Dream
  58. Inaugural National Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner Announced
  59. Joint SPASA Australia & SPASA Victoria Alliance Announcement
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  91. Pool industry dives into water recycling and storage
  92. Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Industry Announces 2007 Awards of Excellence
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