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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