Leading law firm Maurice Blackburn is encouraging Victorians to continue prioritising pool and spa safety over the cooler months.
The call comes as the Victorian Government today announced an extension to the deadline for mandatory registration of home pools and spas.
Under new safety laws that came into effect last year, Victorians were required to register their pool or spa with local council by June 1, 2020.
The Government has today extended the deadline to 1 November 2020, in acknowledgement of the extra pressures on families and council due to the pandemic.
Dimi Ioannou, principal at Maurice Blackburn, said the extension was a sensible move, but encouraged pool and spa owners to use the time wisely.
“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 encourage Victorians to register their pool or spa with council as soon as possible.
“We’re also calling on Victorians to prioritise arranging a qualified person to check if their pool or spa barriers meet safety standards.
“It could literally save a child’s life.”
In addition to mandatory registration, the new safety laws also require that pool and spa safety barriers be inspected every four years.
According to the Victorian Building Authority, an average of four young children die in home swimming pools or spas each year in Victoria.
Many more are taken to hospital for near drownings, resulting in severe and lifelong injuries.
Maurice Blackburn has represented a number of families who have experienced the death or injury of a family member in pool-related incidents.
“Too many families have lived through the heartbreak of losing a child in a drowning tragedy,” Ms Ioannou said.
“Many families have also had to endure the hidden toll of near-drownings, which can lead to devastating injuries that require a lifetime of care and treatment.
“We urge adults to remain vigilant about supervising children around pools at all times.”
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