TWEED Shire’s 10,000 estimated pool owners are likely to be subjected to “targeted” inspections under the council’s response to changes to the NSW Swimming Pools Act.

That is despite 78% of the 240 local respondents to the council’s pool-owner survey expressing a preference for self-regulation with minimal inspection.

Councillors on Thursday night accepted council staff’s advice that targeted pool inspections, as opposed to self-regulation or regular inspections, struck the best balance between risk management and resource allocation.

Under the targeted option, any property with a pool could be inspected at any time.

An inspection could be sparked by a complaint, the pool not being on the state register or being removed from it, or a tip-off to the council that the pool was non-compliant.

Changes to the pool act in 2012 mean private pool owners must register their pools, with councils adopting an swimming pool inspection program.

The program is designed to cut backyard drownings.

The council’s director of planning and regulation, Vince Connell, said told the meeting that the new legislation “had been quite onerous”.

This draft policy containing council’s preferred option will now be placed on public exhibition before returning to council for consideration for formal adoption.

Article by My Daily News – 27 Mar 2014