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11 December 2018

Tourism operators from Palm Beach to Port Douglas, Caloundra to Cooktown and Wongawallan to Wallu have had their swimming pools audited in a summertime safety crackdown.

Dozens of resort, hotel and motel operators were discovered to have unregistered pools or pools that lacked safety certificates following a statewide audit by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said no accommodation type was off limits, with the investigation covering everything from budget backpacker hostels to world-class five-star resorts.

“With the busy holiday season upon us, families deserve to feel safe no matter where they choose to stay,” Mr Bassett said.

“Pleasingly, 400 operators passed the audit, however, more than 80 operators were sent a warning letter about non-compliance, with most able to comply within the allowable timeframe.

“Unfortunately, 20 operators failed to comply and were referred to local government for appropriate enforcement action, including properties in Weipa, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Roma, and on the Gold Coast.

“Pool fences save lives. That’s why they’re so important. But tourism operators also have the option of investing in an alternate pool safety management plan, such as employing lifeguards.”

Mr Bassett said the QBCC is currently assessing five pool safety management plans that have been submitted by operators.

Pool Safety Management Plans (PSMP) are a legal compliance option, available to any class 3 operator who applies.

To approve a PSMP, the QBCC Commissioner must be satisfied the pool safety measures under the plan appropriately provide for the safety of young children in and around the pool.

The proposed PSMP must include details of the measures the owner intends to implement to appropriately provide for the safety of young children in and around the pool, including, for example, providing an on-site lifeguard for the pool.