A 43-year-old Goonellabah man almost drowned in an inflatable pool over the weekend.
A 43-year-old Goonellabah man almost drowned in an inflatable pool over the weekend.

Are you up-to-date on pool safety?

PLANNING on taking a dip in the cool refreshing water of a portable or blow-up pool this weekend to escape the heat? Make sure it's fenced off.

With temperatures expected to climb well above 40°C in some parts of the Valley, Clarence Valley Council has issued a reminder to people that under the NSW law, any swimming pool capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more must be surrounded by a child resistant barrier, complying with the Swimming Pool Act.

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The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia has advised that drowning is the most common cause of accidental death in children in the 0-4 years age group and that the vast majority of deaths occur in private swimming pools.

A Clarence Valley Council spokesperson said Council regularly receives and investigates complaints concerning unfenced swimming, including portable or inflatable pools.

"The owner of an unfenced pool can be issued with a $550 Infringement Notice with fines of up to $5500 able to be issued if the matter is dealt with by a Court," the spokesperson said.

"Council's officers have recently issued several Infringement Notices in respect of unfenced swimming pools."

Child resistant barriers must:

  • Be a minimum of 1.2 metres high (1.8m high if it is boundary fence).
  • Have a maximum 100mm gap in between vertical components.
  • Have a minimum 900mm between any external horizontal components
  • Have a maximum 100mm gap between the bottom of the barrier and the ground
  • Have an outward opening, self-closing and self-latching gate
  • Have the gate release mechanism a minimum of 1.5 metres above ground


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