The Queensland Compliance Deadline

When the Queensland Government launched its "Does your pool fence measure up?" campaign in October 2015, many pool owners suddenly came to believe that they had to get their pools certified by 1 December 2015.

This was not true. It was misinformation, spread both by the media and unscrupulous inspectors. (Even Mayor Graham Quirk got it wrong on Channel Nine News when he said "Council inspectors will be driving around, looking for uncertified pools.")

The only pool owners who must get their pools certified are those who:

  • are selling or leasing their properties; or
  • are responsible for shared pools (e.g., hotels, motels, caravan parks and body corporates); or
  • purchased homes since 1 December 2010 and were given a Form 36 (Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate) by the seller.

All other pool owners are only required to be compliant with the latest regulations.

There are four ways to achieve compliance. The good news is that the first three are free.

1. Download a good checklist (like ours) and inspect your own pool fence. If everything checks out OK, you have met your obligations, and you are all done.

2. If you know that you need new fencing, or your pool area is not completely fenced, or you have doors that open directly to the pool, call in a fencing contractor to measure and quote. A good contractor (like those on our Resources page), should be able to design a solution guaranteed to be compliant with the latest pool safety regulations.

3. Call us (on 412-424-590) or email us to discuss any specific areas of concern. Often we can help you sort these out with a quick call or review of a photo.

4. Invite Finishing Touch to visit and carry out a Consultation. This is similar to an inspection, but instead of issuing a Non-conformity Notice (Form 26), we give you a "to-do" list: a simple list of tasks that would need to be done to bring your fencing up to compliance. Unlike a Non-conformity Notice, a to-do list does not impose a 90 day deadline, does not get sent to Council, and does not require you to call the same inspector for re-inspection: you are free to get multiple opinions.

Our advice is:

1. Don't panic. The Government had five years to let pool owners know about the 1 December 2015 deadline, and they did virtually nothing until six weeks before the deadline. They could not expect every pool owner in Queensland (350,000 or so) to get their pool fences to "measure up" on such short notice, and they do not have the resources, either at the State or Council level, to do much more than respond to neighbour complaints.

2. Start the process and work through it, knowing that if you need fencing or building work, it will take time. If, by chance, a Council inspector knocks on your door to carry out a spot-check, show them what you have done and what you are doing to work toward compliance. They are not after your money, and they don't issue fines if they can avoid it. They only want to know that you are exercising due diligence to achieve compliance.

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