Residents urged to pool disapproval

A GRIFFITH pool owner has condemned a new $150 inspection fee imposed by council, but council's building co-ordinator says he's simply acting on a state government initiative.

Brett Angel has urged all Griffith pool owners to write a letter to the Griffith City Council immediately contesting the fee before the submissions cut-off on November 17.

In a letter to The Area News, Mr Angel said he agreed with the pool registration program but it was "not fair" pool owners had to pay $150 to council on top of that.

"So basically, a Griffith City Council employee is going to check the same pool fence a fence which has already been checked twice during the initial development application process and then we have to pay $150," Mr Angel said.

"I wonder how many pools there are in Griffith?

"The pool of money (pun intended) for this new fee must be enormous."

Mr Angel also questioned the "breakdown" of the recurring $150 fee.

"Please don't tell me it is to cover the cost of a council inspector to look at my fence for a few minutes," he said.

"Our rates and council wages should already cover this.

"Please don't tell me the $150 is to cover the pool fence 'certificate' council is planning to issue pool owners a printed piece of A4 paper costs around four cents last time I checked.

"I am impressed Griffith City Council is taking pool fence safety seriously, but the cyclical $150 'pool tax' should be withdrawn immediately."

The state government swimming pool registration site was overloaded on Wednesday with people trying to register their pools before the cut-off date, prompting the department to issue a period of leeway to give people more time to sign up fine-free.

With the new regulations forcing people to register their swimming pools came the requirement councils must develop and initiate an inspection program, according to building certification co-ordinator Ben Lang.

The program will cost Griffith pool owners $150 and will provide them with a three-year swimming pool compliance certificate.

After three years, the certificate will expire and anyone wanting to sell or lease their house must obtain a new one.

Mr Lang said a lot could happen in three years, meaning backyard pools needed to be inspected to ensure they were safe.

"Gates can move and not lock properly or shrubs and trees can grow up next to fences," Mr Lang said.

"It's a state government initiative and it's all about the importance of safety."

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