Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Following the State Government’s passing of the Development (Swimming Pool Safety) Variation Regulations 2013, the first stage of which came into operation on 1 January 2014 Council has adopted a Policy for Swimming Pool Inspections recommended by staff.

This was one of the many governance motions we must on a regular basis deal with. So something that we must do in dotting eyes and crossing tees, a formality.

We are duty bound to inspect/audit all new pools within 2 months of being notified of the completion of the pool or the safety barrier as the case may be. . We have determined to set the goal of achieving 80% of new pools inspected within 2 weeks The remaining 20% must be inspected within 2 months of the notification.

Eventually we will have to address having s policy for regular audits of existing pools but that is for the future.

The bottom line however is this is an example of how the State Government can foist more work onto councils which inevitably increases their cost structures.

Our Planning Manager believes we can accommodate the extra staffing required for this extra work with an impact on our budget. That will change significantly however when the the legislation requires regular audits of existing pools. This means when the time comes our costs are going to increase.

To be fair a fee of $ 170.00 will be applicable but this must include for and cover return visits by the Council Inspector should there be a defect requiring correction.

As an independent Building Inspector myself I can tell you that $ 170.00 will not recover Council’s true costs. So like the range of fees applicable to Development Approvals the balance of the copy of this service must be met by the rates paid by you and I.