The pool safety laws are very clear about objects close to fences that constitute a climbable object. Taps, electrical power points, retaining walls, rocks and higher than allowed garden beds all form a step up that reduces the effective height of the pool fence (of 1200mm). In fact, any object including pot plants can aid a child’s access to the pool area but in many instances simply moving that pot plant away from the fence means you are no longer non-compliant.
Recently on the news we saw a 2 year old child actually scale a pool gate and open it. Admittedly, the gate opened inwards instead of outwards but the parent had been told on 2 occasions to rectify this. The point is, anything that assists children in making entry to a swimming pool area is a no-no.
The bottom line is it is your responsibility to maintain these areas to ensure they comply at all times. Things change. A new BBQ is bought and positioned next to the fence under the patio, pot plants get moved around, shrubs grow into larger more substantial trees. Each of these has the potential to compromise those areas that need to be free of objects. Please don’t quote me on this but if there was a pool incident at your place and it was the result of your oversight, I’m not sure how well your insurance would hold up. I contacted an insurance company about this and as expected they declined to entertain the enquiry. But more importantly an incident involving a child would weigh heavily on everyones’ heart.
View the cross section of a pool barrier for non-climbable zones (NCZ).
Some photo examples of non-compliance are as follows: