The City of Boroondara is calling for the creation of a mandatory pool barrier certification scheme as part of its submission to the Victorian Government’s Building Regulations Sunset Review.

Councillor Phillip Healey, Mayor of Boroondara, said the certification scheme would address the high rates of poorly maintained pool barriers.

“Pool fences are required by law for a very good reason – they keep kids safe from drowning. But there’s no point having a fence if it’s so badly maintained that the little ones can get to the water anyway,” said Cr Healey.

“There needs to be a requirement for owners to obtain a certificate of compliance for their pool barrier every two or three years. This would also help Council to have more accurate records of the location of swimming pools in our municipality.”

The certification scheme is currently in place in Queensland and Western Australia.

As part of its submission, Council also called for the Victorian Government to consider the impact of the new requirements to have a four-sided isolation barrier by 1 October 2020.

“Council welcomes the new requirements to upgrade all pool and spa barriers to have a four-sided safety barrier. We believe this will help reduce the confusion about Victoria’s pool fencing laws and makes it easier for owners to comply,” said Cr Healey.

“Council is seeking changes to the Regulations to allow owners to upgrade their safety barriers without first obtaining a Building Permit. However, we also recommended that the owners must engage the services of a Registered Building Surveyor to carry out an inspection and confirm the safety barrier is compliant.

“If adopted, our recommended approach will assist owners to achieve compliance and also save them time and money.”

In its submission, Council also called for the Victorian Government to help facilitate its role as the administrator and enforcer of the Building Act by establishing the appropriate funding model for council.

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