I have had to agree to an inspection of my pool by the powers that be. I live on a rural acreage totally out of view of any road in the area. The acreage also contains a slippery sided (when wet) waterhole which retains water for a week or so after heavy rain and then dries up. The pool was installed about 20 years ago, and passed all regulations including a wooden fence. About a year ago, I realised this fence was faulty in places and, I had a new, upgraded fence built professionally.
After being notified by council of the forthcoming inspection, I employed a tradesman to check that all was in order. He checked the locks on the gates, measured the distance outside the fence to every shrub and tree and cut back anything that might be a problem. All was well.
Not good enough for our wonderful Byron Shire Council and NSW Government who seem to take delight in persecution of people who have looked after themselves all their life.
No! According to the inspector, the gates did not automatically close – and – horror upon horrors, there was a shrub about 18 inches inside the fence with a very small (about an inch) stump beside the main growth where a branch had been cut off. Apparently an enterprising child might first of all discover a well hidden pool way up a hillside. Then on the steep sloping ground, hold the bars of the fence whilst his body is hanging down the slope, get his foot on the stump which is about 18 inches inside, and then, haul himself up a child proof fence and get over it – surely the purpose of a childproof fence is just that? Childproof!
Added to that, I had to install a new safety notice, another $40! As I am the only user of the pool, I have no idea who is going to read the notice and resuscitate me if I am drowning!
I called in my trusty tradesman again, and yes, the gates shut perfectly well –all by themselves! And he could not even find the little stump so he cut the whole shrub down.
I now have the inconvenience of another inspection.
As far as I am concerned, this is bureaucracy gone mad! Why can’t parents look after their kids? When shall we start to fence the ocean? As a woman who has been responsible all my life, I cannot even begin to express my anger at this overstepping of individual rights.
Jan Milton Blanch JP, Mullumbimby