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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 – 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 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

Collaborating partners 2018

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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 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 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)

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

 

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

aloha poty 2018 with nameCongratulations to Aloha Pools for winning 2018 Pool of the YearWith over 440 industry stakeholders in attendance, the SPASA 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 43 Awards of Excellence categories made up the SPASA Victoria Awards of Excellence program, including major awards Product of the Year and Remco Pool of the Year.

The 2018 Remco Pool of the Year was awarded to Aloha Pools and the 2018 Product of the Year went to Supreme Heating for their Heatseeker DualSun product.

Hosted by former Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, guests were treated to pure hilarity and genuine on-stage entertainment from the Olympic champion-turned comedian.

A total of 70 Gold and Highly Commended awards were presented to well deserving SPASA Victoria members.

CEO of SPASA, Brendan Watkins said, "This year's record number of award entrants again demonstrates excellence across the board and proves that SPASA Victoria members are true leaders within the national industry. With Award entry numbers up 25% on last year, it shows 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.”

SPASA Life Member and ex-President John D’Arcy also announced Watkins as the inaugural SPASA Hall of Fame inductee.

With sumptuous food prepared by renowned caterer Epicure, along with images of all award entries prominently displayed up in lights on the MCG scoreboards - as well as video footage on the 'Around-the-Ground' LED Ribbons - a fabulous night was enjoyed by all!

aloha poty 2018 with nameThe 2018 Remco Pool of the Year 2018 was awarded to Aloha Pools

heatseakerThe 2018 Product of the Year Award was awarded to Supreme Heating for their Heatseeker DualSun Solar Electricity + Pool Heating System
A full list of award winners can be viewed HERE

Please see SPASA Victoria Media Release HERE

Michelle Rowcliff and Michael Husken with kids Charli and Cooper. Pic Jenny Evans.Source News LimitedMichelle Rowcliff and Michael Husken with kids Charli and Cooper. Pic Jenny Evans.Source News LimitedA pool is the one thing every Aussie wants at their house, according to a study of the online search habits of property seekers.

Swimming pools have become the most prized feature for house hunters looking to dive into the real estate market.

Data provided exclusively to the Saturday Daily Telegraph showed ‘pool’ was the most searched for attribute nationally on realestate.com.au

The term was searched nearly 270,000 times over the past six months in NSW alone, five times more than the 52,000 searches of “waterfront” — the second most searched term.

Other popular search terms in NSW include granny flat, which came in third with 34,000 searches, garage with 29,000 searches, pets with 25,500 clicks and beach, which had 21,800 views.

In Victoria the second most searched for term was ‘garage’, with ‘courtyard’ coming in third. In Queensland buyers favoured the acronym ‘NRAS’, which stands for National Rental Affordability Scheme, as well as ‘pets’.

South and West Australian house hunters similarly searched for ‘pets’ and ‘granny flat’, while those in the ACT and Northern Territory were seeking a ‘furnished’ look.

The list also revealed some of the stranger search terms in NSW. Over 6000 people were nutty about ‘macadamias’, while ‘deer’ had 295 searches and ‘airstrip’ had 218 views.

Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said it was unsurprising pools were a popular choice as many people still looked for that “dream” of owning a home with a swimming pool.

“I think having a swimming pool is something people aspire to,” she said.

“Historically there was a view that pools don’t add value, but that seems to have changed.”

The results also reveal that Sydneysiders’ obsession with living near the water hasn’t waned, with many of the sought-after and exclusive suburbs situated near the harbour or beaches, Ms Conisbee added.

“There is a real drive to be near the water, other states have it but not on the same level as Sydney,” she said.

What was also interesting was the increase in demand for a granny flat.

Ms Conisbee said it was a combination of buyers looking for added rental income as well as others needing extra space for extended families.

“With current prices people are always be looking for a bit of extra income,” she said.

“We are also seeing children in their 20s staying at home longer so a separate building to accommodate them makes it bit more comfortable.”

Rich and Oliva property valuer Riccardo Errichiello further strengthened this view, indicating it was granny flats, not pools that were currently a more in demand commodity.

“The cost to build a granny flat is around $120,000. The value of the property would increase by that number and some more at least,” he said.

On average, a pool can add between $30,000 and $50,000 to the value of the house but it tends not to be a necessity.

“They are a capital improvement as long as they don’t take up the whole yard — sizing is a big factor,” Mr Errichiello said.

Families and investors are the two main groups who were seeking these additions, Mr Errichiello added, but there were still other factors like build quality, land size and location that were more important when buying.

When buying their new house in Concord, Michelle Rowcliff and husband Michael Husken weren’t necessarily looking for a home with a pool, but their two kids Cooper and Charli were.

The pair had been searching for a long term home with enough space for their growing family and the addition of a pool was the cherry on top.

“It was a pretty considerable factor because both kids had been keen for ages,” Mrs Rowcliff said.

Devine Real Estate’s Craig Stokes said the warm summer months were a catalyst in the rise of people looking for a pool.

“Pools come up a lot in the search criteria and are quite an important factor,” he said.

“Most people who build a dream home will always have a pool and people who buy older homes have putting in a pool as their first goal.”

Originally published as Home buyers look to dive into the market

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