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Queensland’s pools made safer
Queensland's Parliament has passed the final stage of new swimming pool safety laws which will see mandatory pool safety inspections and compliance certificates required for all privately owned Queensland pools.
The laws will provide local government pool inspectors with greater powers of entry and broaden pool safety laws to include covered indoor pools and pools associated with hotels, motels, caretaker dwellings, caravan parks and other residential buildings.
A statement on the website of Queensland MP Curtis Pitt says that the law will see "more certified inspectors with more powers inspecting more privately owned pools."
The statement continues "between 1st January 2004 and 18th May 2010, 35 children under five years of age drowned in residential swimming pools and in 2008/09 eight children drowned in swimming pools. Each year there are approximately 50 non-fatal immersion incidences, which often cause permanent brain damage. These new mandatory pool safety certificates and inspections for Queensland will help save lives and make the stateâs pools the safest in the country.
"Nothing replaces adult supervision of children when theyâre near water. Parents remain the first line of defence â they must always watch their kids around water and teach them how to swim from an early age and promote initiatives like 'Kids Alive Do The Five'.
"But these new laws aim to improve the safety of swimming pool barriers, particularly fences around older pools, to help protect young children."
In 2009, the Queensland Government asked an expert committee, including Kidsafe, the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit and the Local Government Association of Queensland, to review the state's pool laws. The committee released a consensus report with 23 findings, all of which will be implemented.
The new laws will also see Queensland's 11 pool safety standards, with different regulations for pools built at different times, replaced with a single uniform approach. Pools that fail to comply with the new standard will have five years to adjust - unless the property is sold or leased first.
Queensland Pitt's statement continues "securing a pool should also be a top priority. It's important to remember defective fences remain a significant factor in the findings of Coronial reports on fatal immersion accidents, with young children commonly shown to have gained access to a fenced pool through a gate or door.
"These new regulations are aimed at saving lives and making our pools the safest in Australia. If we can stop even one of those incidents it will be worthwhile."
For more information go to www.dip.qld.gov.au/pool-fencing/index.php
10th February 2010 - Hanson backs learn to swim lessons for all Aussie Kids
11th November 2009 - Drowning Sparks Call for National Water Safety program
3rd November 2009 - Swimming Most Popular Sport for Australian children: Football Tops for Boys
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