Pool Safety Council
The Pool Safety Council was disbanded on 10 November 2014 with all functions moved to the QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission).
The Pool Safety Council referred to an independent body of the Queensland Government charged with overseeing the pool safety inspector licensing program. The Council came about as a result of a comprehensive review of the pool safety laws undertaken by the Queensland Government in response to developments in pool safety concerns. A number of key stakeholders were involved in the review process including the Local Government Association of Queensland. The new version of the pool safety laws was aimed at reducing incidences of serious immersion injuries and drowning which mostly affected young children.
The revised safety laws were implemented in two main stages with the first stage starting 1 December 2009 with its main focus on residential outdoor swimming pools. The second stage which started on 1 December 2010 had in its agenda the establishment of an independent Pool Safety Council as well as a licensing and training framework for pool safety inspectors among others.
The Pool Safety Council Framework
As an independent statutory body, the Pool Safety Council had a number of functions as stipulated in the Building Act 1975. These included:
• Receiving and investigating pool safety inspection complaints
• Carrying out audits
• Determining disciplinary actions against pool safety inspectors
• Approving training courses for pool safety inspectors
• Maintaining a register of duly licensed pool safety inspectors
The Pool Safety Council through its departmental staff had a capacity to answer and process queries from pool safety inspectors, the Queensland community, and local governments. It also had day to day administrative duties that it carried out. Represented by local government nominees, the Local Government Association of Queensland had a permanent membership in the Pool Safety Council.
The Responsibilities of Local Governments
Local governments all through Queensland have a number of responsibilities with respect to pool safety that they are required to discharge competently and diligently. Among these mandates include:
• Mandatory pool inspection after immersion incident notice – local governments are expected to investigate these cases and take any enforceable action which will lead to compliance of the pool with the relevant standard.
• Pool inspections after safety complaint notice – Where the local government receives a written safety complaint notice for a pool, they must inspect the respective pool to establish its compliance with the standards.
• Inspection following a notice from the Department of Infrastructure and Planning – Where the department suspects the non-compliance of pool fencing and other barriers for regulated pools, the local government is expected to inspect the named pool.
The Pool Safety Council and the Pool Safety Register
The Pool Safety Council was one of the bodies with administrative access to the pool safety register. Such access was necessary for the Council to be able to approve licence applications for pool safety inspectors among other functions. Through the state-wide pool safety register, the Council could also make an entry of disciplinary action recorded against pool safety inspectors.
In the event of outstanding non-conformity notices, a pool owner could request through an application to the Pool Safety Council, approval for another pool safety inspector to inspect their pool and where conditions are satisfactory, issue a pool safety certificate.
The Council also granted building certifiers permission to carry out minor repairs for pools.
In order to be compliant with the pool safety standard, you can contact the QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) for a licensed inspector who will then carry out an inspection of your pool barrier and advise you of what actions are required for your pool to become certified. Alternatively, you can contact Elite Pool Inspections for all your pool fence inspection needs.
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