With approximately 250 swimming pools in the Cootamundra Shire, pool safety is a big community issue. Backyard swimming pools can be great fun, however they are a significant responsibility for the landowner and occupier as drowning of young children can happen quickly and silently.
Section 5 of the NSW Swimming Pools Act 7992 requires Council to promote awareness of the requirements of Act and associated Australian Standards. Council has over the years implemented swimming pool education campaigns aimed at increasing the awareness of the community regarding pool safety and legislative requirements.
Private Swimming Pool Registration
All swimming pool owners must register their swimming pool on the NSW state-wide web-based swimming pool register. Self-registration of your swimming pool is free via the internet but may cost 510.00 for Council to register a pool on behalf of an owner who does not have access to the internet.
Swimming Pool Safety Fencing
While fencing and barriers may help reduce drowning of young children in swimming pools, there is no protection or safety equipment that can replace adequate supervision of children by a parent or another responsible adult.
It is the responsibility of the owner/occupier to keep the pool fence in a state of good repair, and ensure all gates providing access to the swimming area are maintained so they are self-closing and self-latching. Pool users and owners should be aware that if there is a death or injury in a pool, legal liability may fall on the person responsible for the pool at the time, even if a safety fence is installed.
Portable (temporary) Swimming Pools
Like permanent in ground or above ground swimming pools, some portable swimming pools may require swimming pool safety fencing and possibly Development Approval prior to their installation. Heavy fines and orders to demolish pools may be issued to those who don't comply with these legislative requirements.
Council is required under the legislation to ensure that certain swimming pool related documents are made available and accessible to the community. These include the following Australian Standards: 451926.1-1986, 451926.1-2OO7, A51926.2-2007, 451926.L-20I2 (Hardcopies only) . The Building Code of Australia (Hardcopy Only)
These documents are available for free public viewing at Council administration offices during normal business hours. Due to copyright laws, Council will not allow these documents to be taken away from the building, printed or copied.
Council staff may also provide free onsite advice to residents wishing to install a swimming pool and want to know how to satisfy the required fencing laws.