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More fees for pool owners

By Dan Sowden

NEW swimming pool regulations which come into force across the Coast from July 1 will see pool owners forking out $45 for council registration charges and $33 a year in inspection fees.

The former Noosa inspection system is being expanded to all parts of the Coast and the fees and charges will apply to all regulated pools – but existing lawfully constructed pools will escape the initial registration fee.

“New pools, those built without a building approval will be required to pay the registration fee when they obtain approval,” a council spokesman said.

Pool numbers in the former Caloundra and Maroochy shires are still being compiled, based on building approval records and aerial photography.

“Over time, as records are checked, those pools without a building approval will be required to obtain one,” the spokesman said.

“At this time, we are uncertain whether charging will commence in our southern (former Caloundra) areas with the next rates notice because the council’s listing of affected properties may not be ready.”

The spokesman said the registration fee would fund the council passing pool details to the state’s pools register while the annual fee would go toward inspections, to be carried out five-yearly on properties.

“But any property changing ownership will be required to have an inspection,” he said.

“This is primarily about pool safety, as administered by the local government, and will check that the fencing and gates have been kept in good operating condition and meet the state-wide pool fencing standards.”

He said the $500,000-plus program would operate in parallel with the State Government legislation and further funding would go towards the education and training of inspection officers as well as any further council obligations.

The State Government has now passed law enshrining pool legislation including registrations and inspections.

Alan Lander | 23rd May 2010

Source: Sunshine Coast Daily

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