Stage one of Queenslands tough new pool safety regualtions came into force from 1 December 2009, just in time to help protect children around residential pools in summer.
The State Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchcliffe, said stage one of the new laws would immediately apply to all new residential swimming pools.
“This means all new pools must meet the latest pool fencing standards, with clear and strict non- climbable zones above and adjacent to the fence.
Stage two starts in late 2010 and largely targets existing pools,” the Minister said. Mr Hinchcliffe said nothing replaced adult supervision of children when they were near water, but the new laws aimed to drastically reduce the risk of young children entering pool on their own. He said that in 2008 eight children under four drowned in Queensland pools, more than in any other state.
“Another statistic is that almost 60 percent of children under five who lost their lives through drowning did so in backyard swimming pools,” the Minister said.
“Our new Queensland laws will give us every chance to stop that alarming trend. If we can stop even one of those incidents it will be worthwhile.” Under the new regulations, stage one includes the adoption of the lastest pool fencing and CPR signage standards; new provisions to allow temporary pool fencing for short periods of time; mandstory follow-up inspections for new pools; upgrading police reporting forms for pool immersion incidents; and the development of a Queensland pool register.
In addition Mr Hinchcliffe urged Queenslanders to complete an accredited CPR course. He said it cost $65 to potentially save a life. “CPR is something we may have learnt at school, or when we had children, but some people have probably never learnt it, or have forgotten the details. The St John’s Course costs $65 which is a small price to pay to potentially save someones life.”
The state government has given away CPR signs as part of the swimming pool campaign and free public information sessions about the new laws have been held around the state.