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LAWS HAVE CHANGED in NSW if you are buying, selling or leasing a property with a spa or pool

NSW Be Pool Safe April 2016
DD/MM/YYYY
27/04/2016

Shocking new data from Royal Life Saving New South Wales reveals 55% of all 0 to 4 year old drowning deaths in a backyard spa or pool happen because of either a faulty gate or a gate being propped open.

Royal Life Saving is highlighting to people in New South Wales that if you are buying, selling or leasing a property with a spa or pool, LAWS HAVE CHANGED.

From 29 April 2016 properties sold or leased with a spa or pool must have a relevant compliance certificate. Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister says it is critical people get more information from swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.

He points out up to 95% of ALL pools fail their inspection first time.  He says this new awareness push is all about saving young lives because figures show in the past 13 years, 83 young children drowned in a backyard pool and a further 80 children have suffered neurological (brain) damage.

(Ultimately from April 29, if you are buying or selling a property with a spa or pool and don’t have a relevant compliance certificate attached to your contract of sale, your contract is incomplete and can be rescinded. If a landlord does not provide a compliance certificate as part of a new lease for a property with a pool, the lease may be invalid.)

A horrifying number of children in New South Wales have drowned in a backyard pool in the past 13 years.

That is exactly why Royal Life Saving - working with the NSW Government - is urging people around the State to realise backyard pool drownings happen all year round.

New figures now show 55% of all 0 to 4 year old drowning deaths in a backyard pool happen because of either a faulty gate or a gate being propped open.

Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister says it is not commonly known but – in fact – up to 95% of all pools fail on their first inspection.  He highlights many of the issues relate to fencing or pool gates.

David Macallister, says it is disturbing to know 83 young children have drowned in a backyard pool in NSW in the past 13 years and a further 80 children have suffered neurological (brain) damage as a result of being immersed in a pool.

The latest awareness initiative is highlighting to people across New South Wales that if you are buying, selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool, LAWS HAVE CHANGED.

Icehouse star and longtime Royal Life Saving NSW ambassador, Iva Davies said, “We just want to see these terrible drownings stop.  Any drowning is an absolute tragedy.  I am behind this campaign because we need more awareness on this vital issue.  We all have to do more.  We have got to.”

Rugby league legend, proud father and Royal Life Saving NSW supporter, Nathan Cayless said, “I was really shocked to see just how big this problem is.  I urge everybody across New South Wales to take action.  Drownings happen all year round.  Backyard pools are great fun.  However, they can also be extremely dangerous for young children.  This campaign is raising much needed awareness.”

David Macallister is highlighting that from April 29, all spas and pools have either a relevant occupation certificate, a certificate of compliance or a certificate of non-compliance issued from the NSW Swimming Pool Register.  He says the big push is on to make NSW as safe as possible when it comes to backyard pools.

Minister for Local Government Paul Toole says the NSW Government is working very closely with Royal Life Saving because everyone can do more to make the community safer for young children in NSW.  He highlights that if pool gates were closed properly in the first place (according to Royal Life data), it is likely we would immediately halve the number of young people drowning in backyard pools.

Minister Toole said, “While there is no substitute for vigilant adult supervision of children, this change will ensure that new pool owners understand what they need to do to make their pools safe.”

Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister says all the specific details about the law changes can be found at swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au

The extensive and highly informative website is full of practical information on positive steps people can take to ensure they meet legal requirements.

David Macallister said, “Ultimately if you are buying, selling or leasing a property with a spa or pool you absolutely have to have one of the certificates identified above.  Certificates can only be issued by either your local Council or an independent certifier who is registered with the Buildings Professional Board. Details are at the website.”

“After an inspection, if your spa or pool in non-compliant you will be issued with a Certificate of Non-Compliance. Royal Life Saving would strongly urge you to undertake repairs or maintenance urgently. Alternatively, if you are selling your property you can transfer the obligation of obtaining a certificate of compliance to the purchaser. They then have 90 days from settlement to address the non-compliance and obtain a Certificate of Compliance.”

David Macallister added, “Because New South Wales has such great weather, Autumn is still a time when we have gatherings around pools. Make sure your spa or pool is up to scratch.  Be vigilant about safety and compliance.”

Royal Life Saving NSW urges people to learn the skill of CPR, pointing out they have inexpensive courses to give people critical skills.

Royal Life Saving highlights there is a huge amount of practical information to support members of the public and all people need to do is go to swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au to find out more.

Media enquiries to:  Ross Woodward on 03 9769 6488

Photo caption:  Major stars Iva Davies (from Icehouse) and rugby league legend Nathan Cayless are supporting the new Royal Life Saving initiative that highlights 55% of all 0 to 4 year old drowning deaths in a backyard pool or spa happen because a gate has been left propped open or there’s a faulty gate.

They are pictured here with Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister.  It is estimated up to 95% of all pools fail their first inspection.  All three urge people locally to take action because pool drownings happen all year round.

Research - To view the full research findings from the Royal Life Saving NSW Child Drowning Report please click here.