Leading law firm Maurice Blackburn is reminding Victorians they have one week to register their pools and spas with local council, or risk a fine of up to $1652.
Dimi Ioannou, principal at Maurice Blackburn, is also urging pool and spa owners to use this time to ensure their barriers and fences meet safety standards.
“Victorians need to register their pool or spa with their local council before June 1 or they risk incurring a hefty fine,” Ms Ioannou said.
“We’re also reminding everyone that safety barriers must be inspected every four years under the state’s new pool and spa safety laws.
“We’re calling on all Victorians to prioritise arranging a qualified person to check if their barriers meet safety standards once they’ve registered their pool or spa.
“It could literally save a child’s life.”
The registration and inspection requirements are part of new laws to improve pool and spa safety that came into effect in Victoria in December 2019.
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, which can leave children with 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.”
Ms Ioannou said with the closure of swim schools during the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a concern that many young children were missing out on important water safety skills.
“With children at home more often during the pandemic lockdown, safety around pools continues to be critically important,” she said.
“We encourage families to be vigilant about making sure there is adult supervision of children around pools at all times.”
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