Pool to shut and there’s new laws for your pool

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA War Memorial Aquatic Centre will be closed in January for repairs and upgrades and new Victorian laws regarding backyard pools and spas are now also in effect.

Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston said works to replace the ceiling at EWMAC are set to start in the next week or two and be finished by the end of January.

Cr Weston said the works would involve removing the solar panels and removing and replacing the ceiling, along with installing improved insulation.

“The interior pool ceiling has deteriorated and needs total replacement,” he said.

All programs and services will continue to operate at this time.

“The pool will continue to be heated using the gas heating system, rather than the solar panel system,” Cr Weston said.

The pool will be closed from Monday, January 6, through to Friday, January 31, to allow for the replacement of the ceiling.

“The pool deck closure is required due to the area being a construction zone and not safe for public access,” he added.

The pool is the only part of EWMAC to be closed during this time, with the gym and group fitness room operating as normal and access to toilets and change areas continuing.

Cr Weston said the works have been scheduled at the quietest time of the year.

“In January the pool does not have learn-to-swim classes, swimming competitions, or school groups,” he said.

“As many people have pools, they also tend to use their own pool when it is warmer and use the heated pool as the weather cools.

“This time of year also provides an alternative for swimmers, with our seven public outdoor pools open as well as the Moama pool.”

At the same time Cr Weston said new safety laws introduced by the Victorian Government require all landowners to now register their swimming pool and spa with council.

He said the new laws have been introduced with a focus on children’s safety and to reduce the incidences of young children drowning.

“Under the new legislation, it is now mandatory for all swimming pools and spa owners to register their pools and spas with their local council,” Cr Weston said.

“The new safety laws will also require new fencing compliance guidelines to improve swimming pool and spa safety.”

Registration applies to all pools and spas with a depth of water of at least 300mm, which includes relocatable or temporary pools and spas.

Registration is due by 1 June 2020 and failure to register could result in a fine of up to $1652.20.

He said registration is quick and done online, via council’s website. Once complete, council will respond and send an invoice for registration.

Registration fees have been set by the Victorian Building Authority at $31.85, with an additional $47.25 if a building permit number is not provided at the time of registration.

Full compliance for pool safety barrier fencing will not be required until June, 2021.