Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Rules for Pools' launched

    16/10/2005 12:00 AM

    Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan has challenged Western Australian pool-owners to abide by State Government rules designed to prevent child drowning.

    Speaking at the beginning of Drowning Prevention Week, Mr Logan said having a pool was not just a right, but also a serious responsibility.

    “We can legislate, prosecute, install barricades like those outside Alcatraz, but I have no doubt that changing human behaviour is the single most important weapon against the tragedy of toddler drowning,” the Minister said.

    “One preventable drowning is too much and owners must be vigilant to ensure everything is done to prevent them.”

    Today Mr Logan launched ‘Rules for Pools’ - a set of guidelines for residential swimming pool owners, pool contractors, fencing suppliers and installers.

    “I would encourage anyone with responsibility for the design, installation and maintenance of swimming pool barriers to read this essential manual,” he said.

    “People must understand what is required. These user-friendly guidelines have been produced with the assistance of the Royal Life Saving Society Australia and its Keep Watch program.

    “Rules for Pools is available on the Department of Housing and Works website and can be downloaded and printed. It outlines all legislative requirements and standards - as well as providing a shorter checklist brochure primarily directed at the pool owner or occupier.”

    Rules for Pools is a key component of the Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Keep Watch Toddler Drowning Prevention Program, which was also launched by Mr Logan today.

    The Minister said Australian drowning rates of young children were among the worst in the world.

    “Statistics that particularly appal me are the ones that show that drowning in swimming pools is the single largest cause of injury deaths in children aged five and under,” he said.

    “In recognition of this, the Royal Life Saving Society Australia developed the national behavioural change program ‘Keep Watch’ - a program vigorously supported by this State Government.”

    Mr Logan said the Gallop Government was asking everyone to be responsible for their swimming pool enclosures by abiding with current laws.

    An amendment to the Building Regulations in March 2002 introduced a ‘Transitional Period’ that required all owners of swimming or spa pools, approved for building prior to July 1, 1992, to install a barrier between the residence and pool/spa.

    This could be a dedicated pool fence or owners could choose to modify the doors and windows to provide access restrictions from the residence to the pool/spa.

    The transition period ends on December 17, 2006.

    “I believe that any additional cost of these upgrades is a small price to pay for a child’s life,” Mr Logan said.

    Minister's office: 9222 8950