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New pool laws proposed for NSW
Released 20 January 2012

Mandatory inspections of pool fences before homes are sold or leased could become law in NSW.     

Homeowners may soon be required to ensure their pool fences meet safety standards before they sell or lease their property, under proposed amendments to swimming pool legislation being considered by the State Government.

Local Government Minister Don Page released a discussion paper with recommendations to amend pool legislation, following a series of
near-drownings in Sydney this summer.

Feedback from the public and other key stakeholders is now being sought on the discussion paper and proposed amendments to the law.

The amendments aim to enhance the safety of very young children (0 to four years) near private swimming pools in NSW by further reducing drownings and serious immersion injuries.

The NSW Government is now seeking feedback from the public, councils and other stakeholders on possible amendments to legislation to further increase child safety around swimming pools including the introduction of private swimming pool registration, self-certification and an inspection program.

The discussion papers comes after NSW Deputy State Coroner Magistrate PA MacMahon handed down recommendations in April 2010, following inquests conducted into eight backyard swimming pool deaths that occurred between 2006 and 2009.

A cross-agency working group was established by the Division of Local Government in response to these recommendations and has now finalised its report for the Government's consideration.

Among the range of recommendations to be considered are new requirements for private swimming pool owners to register their pool with their local council and to self-certify the pool barrier’s compliance with the Swimming Pools Act.
It is also recommended councils undertake private swimming pool inspections within their local government areas.

Submissions can be lodged by email, post or fax by 5pm, 24 February 2012.

To read the discussion paper, or for more information about making a submission, visit the Division of Local Government website at