VBA issues emergency order for pool fence non-compliance

Swimming pool with ball
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has issued an emergency order over the partial removal of a pool safety barrier at a property near Geelong.

During an inspection on 24 September, the VBA found that the pool owner had removed part of the safety barrier – posing a significant danger to young children.

In Victoria, all swimming pools capable of holding a depth of water greater than 300 mm must have a compliant safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by young children.

The emergency order requires the owner to either install a temporary pool safety barrier, drain the swimming pool or install a temporary cover over the swimming pool.

VBA Director of Inspections and Complaints, David Brockman, said an emergency order is an enforcement tool available to the regulator, where it has been delegated the functions of the municipal building surveyor, to deal with urgent risks to life, safety or property.

“Pools without a safety barrier pose a significant danger to children. The VBA will always take action against those people who do the wrong thing,” Mr Brockman said.

There are more than 1000 building inspectors and surveyors qualified to inspect and certify swimming pool and spa barriers across Victoria.

Any non-compliance with the emergency order may also result in fines of more than $80,000 for individuals and more than $410,000 for a body corporate.