It was only last month that a child drowned in an inflatable pool at Tarcutta, New South Wales. Now the Commonwealth, state and territory sports ministers have come to an agreement to develop a nationally consistent legislation on pool fencing.
Quite a few child drownings will be prevented with the new approach to home pool fencing said the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia. Rob Bradley from the Life Saving Society says the legislation could have the biggest impact on backyard drownings since fencing was introduced 20 years ago. He said, “This will ensure the safety of young children… As the drowning statistics have not improved over a number of years and over 50 per cent of toddler drownings occur in backyard pools.” He said more than 150 children aged under four years had drowned during in the last five years, with half of those deaths occurring in backyard pools. “Our research shows that over 80 per cent of home pools do not comply and this is deeply alarming,” said Mr. Bradley.
On current laws he said that the confusions and disparities between states regarding fencing laws with end here. “We have different pool fencing laws in every state and territory and this confusion is costing lives…There is massive confusion amongst pool owners, local councils, real estate agents, manufacturers and equipment suppliers and installers about which parts of current legislation apply to their local area.”
Overall, there were 314 drowning deaths across Australia in 2009/10, the highest number in seven years.