The deadline for the mandatory registration of private pools and spas in Victoria has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from the state’s minister for planning, Richard Wynne, said private pool and spa owners now have until 1 November 2020 to register their pool or spa with their local council.
It’s a five-month extension on the original 1 June deadline.
According to Mr Wynne, it’s an acknowledgement “of the extra pressure on families and the increased workload on councils due to the pandemic”.
“We know many people are doing it tough, and this gives owners and councils more time to comply with the new regulations ahead of next summer,” he offered.
The government originally introduced the new regulations in December last year, in an effort to improve the safety of private pools and spas and prevent drowning deaths of young children.
Owners are now required to register their pool or spa for a one-off fee of up to $79.
The council will then inform the pool owner of the date by which they must organise their first inspection and certification of their barrier.
This deadline – for owners to lodge their first barrier certification – will also be extended.
Owners who have not registered their pool or spa with the local council by 1 November 2020 may face an on-the-spot fine of $330.
Mr Wynne said such regulations are necessary, “to prevent children continuing to drown in backyard pools with non-compliant safety barriers”.
The deadline delay has been welcomed as a “sensible move” by Dimi Ioannou, lawyer and principal at Maurice Blackburn.
But she is still encouraging pool and spa owners to act sooner rather than later.
“If you’re not using your pool or spa during these colder months, now is the perfect time to make sure all your registration and safety requirements are in order.”
“We’re also calling on Victorians to prioritise arranging a qualified person to check if their pool or spa barriers meet safety standards,” the lawyer added.
“It could literally save a child’s life.”