building & development
Pool and Spa Barriers
building & development
Pool and Spa Barriers
Pool and spa owners are required to register pools or spas with Council.

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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.

Pool and spa owners were required to register pools or spas with council by 1 November 2020. This applies to both permanent and relocatable pools and spas.

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Mandatory Registration

It was compulsory to register your pool or spa with council by 1 November 2020 by submitting the registration form and paying the fee.

Your application needs supporting information. This is either a copy of the building permit, Final Inspection Certificate issued by a private building surveyor or correspondence from council's building inspector after2016.

If you supply these documents the application fee is $31.84.

If you don't have these documents the fee is $79.

  1. Your application will be assessed and we will tell you 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.
  2. Certification: Get your safety barrier inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or inspector. Please don’t leave it to last month as private inspectors will be busy.
  3. Lodge your certificate with us.
  4. Renew your certificate every four years to show that your barrier continues to meets legal requirements.
  5. We will ensure  property owners comply with the new legal requirements. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

Ongoing pool and spa barrier inspections and certifications

Under Victorian Government laws, barriers need to be certified as compliant. Dates vary depending on when your pool or spa was installed as follows:

  • before 1994 the first inspection/certification is required by 1 November 2021
  • between 1995 to 2010 the first inspection/certification is required by 1 November 2022
  • after 2010 the first inspection/certification is required by 1 November 2023.

Every four years the inspection and certification process is repeated. After you lodge your certification, we will let you know the due date of your next certification.  

These private certifiers may be able to help you in this process.

B4U Build

Watershed Building Consultants

Smart Choice Building Permits

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.

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.

Need more information?

For more information about the new State Government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority Swimming Pools and Spas page.

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This page was last published on: 
Thursday, March 25, 2021