ALL NSW backyard pools will have to be registered under a safety crackdown by the state government.
Under the proposed legislation, a statewide online registry will be established and the 340,000 pools in NSW will have to be registered within 12 months, Local Government Minister Don Page said.
Property owners who don’t register their pools within that time will face fines of $2200. Safety compliance inspections will also be conducted by councils and private operators at an expected cost of $150.
“If ... their pool (is) found to be non-compliant, they can be fined $5000,” Mr Page told reporters.
Any property with a pool will also have to undergo inspection before it’s sold or leased.
“Research indicates that by increasing compliance with pool barrier requirements the rate of infant death by drowning could be reduced by up to 41 per cent,” Mr Page said.
On average, six children drown each year in NSW backyard pools and about 36 children suffer brain damage from swimming pool accidents, Mr Page said.
Joanne Morris, whose nine-year-old son Samuel was left severely disabled after he nearly drowned in a poorly-fenced pool as a two-year- old, said the proposed legislation was a good start.
“These new changes are great but I hope they tighten it up in the future,” she said.
Mr Page said the bill would be introduced to parliament in the next few weeks, and he hopes it will be passed during this parliamentary session.
An Armidale man is facing a manslaughter charge after a child drowned in his swimming pool.
The child wandered into the man’s yard and accessed the pool due to alleged inadequate fencing.