Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Taking action on pools

Greater Shepparton City Council has issued two emergency orders to owners of pools who have breached fencing regulations this summer.

JENNA BISHOP January 11, 2013 4:50am

Shepparton boy Miles Harding, 2, enjoys a dip in an inflatable pool that is small enough not to need a fence.

Two emergency orders relating to swimming pool fencing regulations have been issued this summer by Greater Shepparton City Council as part of action to ensure safety.

On Tuesday, The News reported that under a relatively unknown regulation introduced in May 2010, all swimming pools with a depth of more than 300mm must be enclosed with an appropriate fence.

Council building service manager Robert Frame said owners had 48 hours to comply with an emergency order.

The orders were issued when there was a danger to life and property, and owners had complied within 24 hours.

About 10 building notices were also issued for existing swimming pools requiring maintenance to existing barriers and owners had 30 days to comply before an order would be served.

Mr Frame said the council had not prosecuted owners with inadequately fenced swimming pools to date.

‘‘Once advised of fines and other associated costs, people generally comply rather than face a magistrate,’’ he said.

Measures taken by the council appear to be in line with other councils across the Murray and Goulburn valleys and wider Victoria.

In the Shire of Campaspe, the council’s service executive manager Paul McKenzie said owners generally co-operated when issued with a building emergency order and some chose to remove the pools rather than install a fence.

Mr McKenzie said no fines had been issued.

Moira Shire Council’s development director Scott Taylor said any breaches of the fencing regulation were acted on promptly.

In Benalla, 36 swimming pool inspections were conducted late last year, resulting in one emergency order being issued.

Twenty-two building orders issued and eight swimming pools were removed.

Veronica Schilling, Benalla Rural City Council’s development and environment general manager, said pools would be randomly audited.

Warrnambool City Council keeps a record of all swimming pools in the municipality using its swimming pool register, aerial surveillance, visual inspections, information from real estate advertisements and reports from the public.

Shepparton residents can phone Greater Shepparton City Council on 58329700 if they have concerns about whether a pool is affected by the regulation.


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