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Pool and Spa Barriers

New registration requirements for pool and spa owners

Pool and spa owners are required to register pools or spas with council by 1 November 2020 (extended from 1 June). This applies to both permanent and relocatable pools and spas.

New laws have been introduced to keep young children safe.


Since 2000, 27 young children have drowned in private swimming pools and spas. In at least 20 of those cases, the non-compliance of the safety barrier was a contributing factor.


Mandatory registration

  1. Register your pool or spa with council before 1 November 2020 by submitting a registration form and paying the appropriate fee.

  2. Once your application has been assessed we will advise you of the inspection and certification timelines that apply to your pool or spa. Like the safety standards, different timelines apply based on the date your pool or spa was built. 

  3. When it is time have your safety barrier inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or inspector.

  4. Lodge your certificate with council.

  5. Renew your certificate every four years to show that your barrier continues to meets legal requirements.

  6. Council will ensure all affected property owners comply with the new legal requirements with penalties for non-compliance.

An application without the supporting information (copy of building permit) or council inspection advice since February 2016 will require the fee of $79 to be paid. 

An application with appropriate documentation attached the fee is $31.84


Use this form to register or for more information about the new state government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority swimming pools, spas and safety barriers page or contact us on 5153 9500.


Pool and spa safety barriers

The  2011 National Drowning Report shows that 43 per cent of all drowning deaths among children between 0-4 years old occurred in swimming pools. Regulation compliant barriers are essential for all swimming pools. Barriers prevent young children from entering the swimming pool unsupervised.


From May 2011 changes to Australian Standards requires all pool/spa barriers to be separate from the house and boundary fencing. All pool owners are to ensure their barriers are correctly maintained.


For more information please refer to the Hinge and Latch Adjustment Guide, which may help you maintain your pool barrier. Noting that the guide may not cover all hinges and latches.


Things you need to know when planning or own a swimming pool or spa:

  • All swimming pools and spas capable of holding more than 300mm of water, must have a safety barrier. (This includes inflatable or portable pools)
  • A building permit must be obtained for a safety barrier from a private building surveyor.
  • Engage a registered building practitioner to carry out the building work if the value of works exceeds $5,000 (including labour and materials)
  • Pools must not be filled with water until the relevant building surveyor has certified that the barrier complies with the building code.
  • Pools and spas must have self closing and latching gates that swing away from the pool area.
  • Access from the dwelling is not permitted directly into the pool area via external doors
  • Maintain the barrier and ensure that gates are regularly checked and maintained to ensure that they self close and latch.
  • Maintain the no climb zone; keep plant pots ornaments, furniture or other climbable objects well away from both the inside and outside of the barrier.

Swimming pools and spas and safety barriers - Practice Note 2013-05

Victorian Building Authority Information Sheet


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