Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee, Office of the Coroner
Tabled Paper 430
Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
2Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee Annual Report 2020-21 tenants to engage with departmental officers on pool barrier requirements. generic email, phone line and a customer services counter to discuss and seek advice on pool barrier requirements. The pool contractor must see a copy of the owners Interim Compliance Certificate before works begin and submit a Contractor Notification Form to the Swimming Pool Fencing Unit. If an owner is installing their own pool or spa, they too must meet the same requirements of a pool contractor. The Interim Compliance Certificate issued identifies conditions for both the pool owner and the pool installer. This includes that the owner must lodge an application for a Compliance Certificate with seven days of completing the construction of the swimming pool and before the pool is filled to a depth greater than 300 millimetres or more at the deepest point of the swimming pool. The pool safety adviser must inspect a property before recommending the swimming pool safety barrier for a compliance certificate. The Authority must issue a compliance certificate to an applicant, if following an assessment the Authority is satisfied that the swimming pool complies with the modified Australian Standard or non-standard safety provision. A swimming pool cannot obtain certification without an inspection by an adviser. The number of inspections required for a property to reach compliance varies. On average two to three inspections have been required. Owners are encouraged to complete works as soon as possible, however, the timeframe will vary depending on the complexity of the work needed. Inspections are only required to enable a compliance certificate to be issued. A re-inspection of a pool where a compliance certificate has been issued will only occur on receipt of a complaint that the pool barrier had been altered without the prior consent of the Authority, has deteriorated, been removed or if a new owner or property manager is seeking confirmation of compliance. Once certified, a swimming pool barrier must be maintained in the same condition that it was in at the time of the final compliance inspection and this is listed as a condition on all compliance certificates issued. There are provisions in the Act dealing with offences and the associated maximum penalty units. The Act contains an exemption for home swimming pools on properties with areas of 1.8 hectares or more. Owners can choose to get certification or acknowledgement for a swimming pool barrier at their property. In 2017, the Department finalised policy considerations that formed the basis for a public consultation paper on potential reform areas in respect to pool safety. A key policy area identified was the exemption for requiring a pool barrier at properties 1.8 hectares or more in size. In 2018, an eight week community and industry consultation period commenced and achieved a significant level of engagement and responses. Respondents were overwhelmingly not supportive of removing the exemption for requiring a pool barrier. Following consideration of the responses from the public consultation and engagement, in January 2020 the NT Government made a public statement that the Territory Government was not proposing to change pool fencing laws. Current requirements do not prevent property owners exempt under existing laws from achieving compliant swimming pool barriers. Property owners are encouraged to consider the safety needs of their family and community in relation to swimming pool safety at their property. Dr Sara Watson Convenor (as at 24.6.21) NT Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee 29 September 2021
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