The Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA Victoria ) 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 Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins says, “The time for talk is over. In partnership with like-minded stakeholders, SPASA Victoria 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.”
For further information please contact:
For Media Comment: Brendan Watkins, CEO SPASA Victoria - 03 9501 2040
*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 Victoria all endorse Mandatory Barrier Inspections