On average six children drown and more than 35 others suffer brain damage in NSW backyard swimming pools every year.
More alarming is the fact that many tragedies could have been avoided had pool owners complied with standard safety procedures.
So it is pleasing to hear that NSW Local Government Minister Don Page has proposed new legislation that will include a register of all pools in NSW.
Under the Page plan every pool owner in NSW will have to have their pool assessed by a safety compliance inspector at an estimated cost of $150.
Non-compliance will cost pool owners fines of up to $2200.
The legislation is tough but it will prompt pool owners to consider the fact that whacking up a fence is not the end of pool safety.
They must ensure that fences are built to the right height and with spacing that doesn't allow small children to squeeze through, that gates must self-latch or
self-close, that climbable objects should not be left close to pool fences and that proper CPR signage is prominent.
We understand pool owners, already struggling with spiralling cost-of-living expenses, won't be happy but if the legislation saves just one young life then it will have done its job.