Investors in Victoria have been given a stern warning to ensure fences around pools and spas fit regulations or face hefty fines from 1 June.
The registration and inspection requirements are part of new laws to improve pool and spa safety that came into effect in Victoria in December 2019.
According to the Victorian Building Authority, four young children lose their lives in home swimming pools and spas each year in Victoria alone.
Many more are taken to hospital for near-drownings, which can leave children with severe and lifelong injuries.
Maurice Blackburn has issued a statement warning investors of the new regulations that will come into effect in two weeks’ time.
Dimi Ioannou, principal at Maurice Blackburn, urged pool and spa owners to use this time to ensure their barriers and fences meet safety standards.
“Victorians need to register their pool or spa with their local council before June 1 or they risk incurring a hefty fine,” Ms Ioannou said.
“We’re also reminding everyone that safety barriers must be inspected every four years under the state’s new pool and spa safety laws.
“We’re calling on all Victorians to prioritise arranging a qualified person to check if their barriers meet safety standards once they’ve registered their pool or spa.
The lawyer highlighted that investors need to follow the new regulations carefully as it goes beyond just getting a fine.
“It could literally save a child’s life,” Ms Ioannou said.
Maurice Blackburn has represented a number of families who have experienced the death or injury of a family member in pool-related incidents.
“Too many families have lived through the heartbreak of losing a child in a drowning tragedy,” Ms Ioannou said.
“Many families have also had to endure the hidden toll of near-drownings, which can lead to devastating injuries that require a lifetime of care and treatment,” Ms Ioannou concluded.