Swimming Pools and Spas

New safety laws for owners of pools and spas

To be introduced 1 December 2019.

New laws introduced by the Victorian Government require:

  • Mandatory registration of swimming pools and spas
  • A new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety

Council will provide further updates when the Victorian Government releases the requirements.

The primary objective of the new regulations is to reduce incidences of young children drowning in private swimming pools and spas through improving compliance with safety barrier requirements.

For more information about the new state government legislation, please visit: vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/safety-guides/swimming-pools

What will be required

Registration

From 1 December 2019, you will be required to register your swimming pool or spa with your local council. All owners of existing swimming pools and spas must register their swimming pool or spa by 14 April 2020.

The Shire will be tasked to ensure all affected property owners comply with the new requirements with penalties for non-compliance.

Certification

After registration, Council will advise certain prescribed information including the date of construction of the swimming pool or spa. Owners will then be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect and certify the compliance of their safety barrier every three years.

Do I need a safety barrier?

Permanent safety barriers are required for all permanent or relocatable pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm, including:

  • in-ground swimming pools
  • hot tubs and Jacuzzis
  • indoor swimming pools
  • above-ground swimming pools
  • spas
  • inflatable and relocatable pools

Note: A lockable lid is not a compliant safety barrier.

Do I need a building permit to install a safety barrier?

A building permit is required to install or alter a swimming pool and spa safety barrier. For more information see Building Permits.

How can I check if my safety barrier is compliant?

While there will be stricter laws on managing swimming pool and spa compliance, the requirement to have safety barriers hasn’t changed. 

You can engage a private building surveyor to do an inspection of the existing permanent safety barrier and provide a report on the level of compliance achieved.

Regulations that apply to permanent safety barriers for existing swimming pools and spas can vary depending on the year the pool or spa was built.

For information on the regulations that apply to swimming pools or spas built prior to 8 April 1991, see Swimming Pools and Spas Prior to 1991(PDF, 256KB).

For information on the regulations that apply to swimming pools or spas built after 8 April 1991 and before 1 May 2010, see Swimming Pools and Spas(PDF, 482KB).

For information on current swimming pool and spa safety barrier requirements, see the Victorian Building Authority's practice note Swimming Pool & Spa Safety(PDF, 3MB) .

Safety barrier maintenance

Swimming pool and spa owners have legal obligations to maintain their safety barriers at all times. Non-compliance, for any reason, can increase the risk of drowning and lead to prosecution.

For more information on swimming pool and spa safety barriers, see the Victorian Building Authority's information on swimming pools.