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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 29 November 2018) . . Page.. 5104 ..


status of the government’s policy development on pool fencing following the matters raised by Royal Life Saving ACT and the coroner?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Parton for the question. The first point is to clarify that the coroner did not make a recommendation that there be an ACT register as reported in the Canberra Times. That was an error. There has been no coronial recommendation for that. Certainly some key announcements were made in March this year, by Minister Gentleman in the portfolio for which he had responsibility at that stage, that we were taking steps over the coming years to make sure that every backyard pool in the territory meets modern standards.

Those steps have included working with industry over the past months; the EPSDD commenced that in June this year. The next step is consultation with pool owners. We will be launching safety matters over summer, in the very near future. As part of that, we will be having broader consultation with pool owners over the summer through a broad range of communications to make sure that people are aware of their responsibilities and to make sure that people are able to attend to the safety of their pools. We will also be exploring further ways of being able to ensure that we have the appropriate levels of information in the ACT government.

MR PARTON: Minister, is a pools register a part of the equation on the way forward on this? How will pool owners be communicated with in regards to their responsibilities in this area?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Parton for the supplementary question. We are looking at ways of gathering the information. There is no policy decision that we would have a single register, but I am speaking with the directorate as to the most appropriate way forward.

In terms of communication with pool owners there is a broad range of ways: media, social media, direct contact. There are a number of ways to make sure that people are aware of their responsibilities and that we are able to gather information to ensure that all Canberrans are safe, especially over summer with children swimming in pools. I encourage those people with pools or those who are visiting places with pools to attend to safety. That is obviously the highest priority over the summer time.

MS LAWDER: Minister, when will the government’s position on this be made publicly available?

MR RAMSAY: It is always dangerous to assume, but I assume that the question from Ms Lawder means the government’s position about a register?

MS LAWDER: About the pool policy relating to the recommendations from Royal Life Saving and the coroner’s recommendations.

MR RAMSAY: I will refer back to my previous answer: that the recommendation from Life Saving is not the same thing as what came through from the coroner. We will be continuing the work, and we will have more to say in the first part of 2019.


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