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Byron Shire
April 14, 2024

Pool owners beware

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Pool owners, council’s reaching for your wallet.

My wife and I built a swimming pool on our property some years ago. The construction was approved by Byron Shire Council and a final occupation certificate issued. We both believe in pool safety as far too many drownings, mostly of children, have occurred in inadequately fenced and gated pools. We were happy therefore to register our pool as part of the NSW government’s swimming pool register in accordance with section 30B of the Swimming Pools Act 1992.

I recently received a letter from Council informing me that Council would be inspecting our pool on February 23 to check compliance, fences, gates, etc. So far so good; I have no problem allowing inspectors onto my property to do their job.

At the bottom of the letter was a paragraph headed: Recovery of cost of entry and inspection. This went on to say that I would be charged $140 for the initial inspection and a further $100 if a reinspection was required. I reread the letter several times, thinking I had misunderstood, but no, it meant exactly what I thought it did.

Every pool owner in the Shire will be charged this onerous inspection fee. It is a rort, a joke. I didn’t ask the council to come and inspect my pool, though I am quite happy for them to do so at their cost. I cannot see why we have to fund the inspection by subsidising council salaries and I refuse to do so.

All pool owners should make a stand, refuse to pay this money-grabbing inspection fee. We pay rates – don’t they cover council costs?

Ron Olesen, Ocean Shores


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  1. Ron you will have to lay the blame on this one at the feet of your outgoing local member, Don Page. It was Mr Page who introduced the program on behalf of the state government, then put the onus on councils to conduct the inspections, without giving them any funds to do so. – Ed

  2. Queensland already play this game Anna Blights bunch bought this little fund raising perk in. If you have an investment prooperty with a pool you have to do it every time you change Tennants how’s that for a scam. Gov backed too.

  3. I actually think that is a fair call for council to recover costs. Why should all the ratepayers have to subsidise pool inspections for the minority who own Pools. $140 ins’t that much in the scheme of things.

  4. $140 for a certificate of 3 years isn’t much to pay for peace of mind. That’s just over $45 per year, or about 12 cents per day. pennies when you think about it. The other option would be for council to include it into your rates bill. either way you’re still paying for it.

    What you should be more concerned about is that over 90% of pool fail their first inspection. Some pools taking anywhere between 2-5 re-inspections. Councils also have the power to issue orders and directions (as well as fines) if your pool is deemed unsafe. Once council issues a direction, they’ll need to complete their process and no one can get involved – including private certifiers.

    Engage a private pool safety inspection company that know what they’re doing and you can skirt around the red tape. Sure, its going to cost you more upfront, but it will cost you less when you consider the number of inspections council would do vs the private certifiers. Councils don’t give you advice or tell you how to fix it. Many of the private guys do however.

    If you have any further questions please let me know



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