Lockyer Council accused of not prioritising pool safety

THE Lockyer Valley Regional Council has been accused of not taking pool safety seriously despite recent toddler drownings.

At a coronial inquest in Brisbane into 15-month-old's death, a Lockyer Valley building inspector said the council did not issue fines for pools that did not comply with safety standards.

Tyson, whose last name cannot be revealed, drowned in March this year after he walked through a pool gate that had been propped open.

His uncle, who lived in the home, was draining the pool and had propped open the gate for easy access to the pump he was using.

The toddler was left unsupervised when his mother, two uncles and one of their girlfriends were changing a car tyre. Tyson walked through the open gate, fell into the pool and drowned.

Police officer Detective Sergeant Bronagh Gillespie told the inquest she decided charges over Tyson's death "would not be in the public interest" because of the distress the death had already caused to the family.

Lockyer Valley council building inspector Gary Shum who inspected the pool after Tyson's death found the pool gate did not properly shut and there were two objects leaning on the fence that could be used to climb up.

Despite this, and the pool not complying with safety standards in the past, Mr Shum said he did not issue any fines - and said council policy was to get non-complying fences fixed but not to issue fines.

Pool safety advocate Katherine Plint, acting for Tyson's mother, said pool safety was "not a priority" for the council.

Mr Shum denied this and said the council acted whenever they found a non-compliant pool the council acted to rectify it.

Megan Jarvis the counsel assisting coroner John Lock, said the propping open of the gate should be the coroner's main concern - as that was how Tyson accessed the pool.

Mr Lock will deliver his findings on Friday.



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