Griffith pool owners fenced in to fee

DESPITE locals voicing their outrage over the proposed pool inspection fee, Griffith City councillors voted on Tuesday to adopt the new swimming pool inspection program - t a cost of $100 to pool owners every three years.

While the proposed inspection fee - put to council in the draft policy on October 8 - was $150, councillors voted to downgrade it to $100.

In accordance with state government changes to the Swimming Pool Act, any resident with a pool capable of holding 30cm of water or more was required to register it, and council is required to inspect it. In addition, new swimming pools will require a compliance certificate at a cost of $150.

According to council’s building certification co-ordinator Ben Lang – who has been tasked with overseeing the inspections – even inflatable pools capable of holding more than 30cm of water must be registered and fenced.

While he understands the inspection fee will not be popular with locals, Mr Lang said it was necessary to cover the extra burden on council.

“The safety of children comes first and in light of what’s happened in Griffith this week, I can’t see why anyone would have an objection,” Mr Lang said.

“It’s a big job and a hard job, more so for the pools that are exempt from having a DA.”

But according to the public submissions against the policy, pool owners don’t have a problem with council inspecting their pools – they simply don’t feel they should have to pay so much for it.

Pool owner Alison Forbes felt a $50 fee would be understandable, but $100 was too much.

“It’s just not fair,” Mrs Forbes said.

“I do believe in them inspecting the pools because so many people do the wrong thing and they need to make sure they’re safe.

“But for an inspector to stick his head over the fence and make sure you’ve got a sign, $100 is a joke.”

Mr Lang said the $100 inspection fee would cover travel costs, time taken to conduct the inspection, small matters arising, paperwork, administration and reporting.

Any pools that require a follow-up inspection will incur another $100 fee, though that will be at the discretion of the building surveyor.

The inspections will commence shortly.

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