A Leader newspaper investigation released on Monday confirmed the disturbing accusations that Victoria’s pool barrier legislation is failing toddlers and is in urgent need of overhaul.
A recent survey of eighteen City Councils reveals that the vast majority of backyard pools and spas are consistently failing barrier inspections.
BOROONDARA - 24 pools inspected, zero compliance
DANDENONG - 22 pools inspected, zero compliance
FRANKSTON - No exact figures available but issues 40-55 non-compliance notes a year
GLEN EIRA - 195 pools inspected, more than 98 per cent failed to comply
HUME - 196 pools inspected, “at least 90 per cent” failed to comply
KINGSTON - Could not say how many inspections were made or how many pools complied
KNOX - 100 pools inspected, no figures provided but the “vast majority” failed to comply
MACEDON RANGES - No proactive pool inspection program and no figures available
MAROONDAH - 270 pools inspected in the past 18 months, 98 per cent failed to comply
MONASH - 151 pools inspected, only eight complied
MOONEE VALLEY - 27 pools inspected, zero compliance
MORELAND - 130 pools inspected, “many” failed to comply
MORNINGTON PENINSULA - 261 pools inspected, zero compliance
NILLUMBIK - 75 pools inspected, 23 complied
STONNINGTON - 60 pools inspected, zero compliance
WHITEHORSE - 100 pools inspected, zero compliance
WHITTLESEA - 49 pools inspected, five complied
YARRA RANGES - 61 pools inspected, nine complied
In light of the Government’s announcement on Monday to ensure that every Victorian child can swim 50m by the end of Primary School, SPASA Victoria applauds this initiative – but asks ‘what about our pre-schoolers’?
Pool and spa barrier laws are specifically designed to protect children between the ages of 0 – 5 years. Sadly, this age group continues to remain neglected. Between 2004 and 2015, Victoria lost 25 children (0 – 16 yrs) in backyard pool drowning fatalities. For every fatal drowning, there is a larger number of non-fatal drownings which may result in permanent damage to the child, the effects of which cause hardship on Victorian families and impose extra burden on government.
As responsible industry leaders, SPASA Victoria will campaign tirelessly until pool and spa barrier inspections are legislated in Victoria”, Mr Watkins said.