Steve Bickerson will need to pay more than $1000 to fence this $400 pool on his Chatsworth rental property.
Steve Bickerson will need to pay more than $1000 to fence this $400 pool on his Chatsworth rental property. Craig Warhurst

Pool fencing too pricey for renter

IT’S the same old story, repeated many times since new laws were introduced making in-ground fencing mandatory for any pool deeper than 300mm.

While it is understandable that fences need to meet strict Australian standards, renters like Steve Bickerson are having difficulty understanding why the associated council fees are out of proportion to the price of a portable pool.

He said he could buy a $400 fence for his pool, which he planned to install himself, but after learning he would have to pay more than $450 for a fence application fee and a site inspection, it’s got him thinking.

Now he’s got his “goat up” about the fact he’s being forced to spend in excess of $1000 for a pool fence when there is a dam on his property less than 100 metres away.

“Last month, three kids drowned in local dams. If property owners are going to lease out a house on a couple of acres, shouldn’t there be a barrier between the dam and the house?

Mr Bickerson understood it was not feasible to fence off a dam or a lake on rural properties, but said tougher regulation needed to apply to smaller properties where dams were easily accessible to children, especially if council was going to come down tough on the owners of backyard blow up pools.

“(The neighbours) have a pool fence next door but I see their kid walking around in the yard. What’s stopping him from wandering down to the dam? They must keep a sharp eye on him.”

The Chatsworth father of two purchased the 12,000-litre pool for his family and recently rang council to discuss his options.

“I looked into it and the costs blew out,” Mr Bickerson said.

“The application process you have to go through to put a little pool up in the backyard is incredible.”

The costs are created by the State Government’s new pool laws that include tougher fencing regulations with mandatory safety inspections and permits to be run by local councils.

By the end of the year, all portable pools deeper than 300mm will need to be properly fenced, where currently fencing is only required for pools deeper than 450mm.

“At the end of the day, why is council charging so much money to inspect fences? How long would that take?”

Gympie Times


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