Domestic swimming pool and spa changes

The State Government is introducing changes to safety barriers and fencing around private swimming pools and spas to reduce incidences of young children drowning.

The new regulations start from 1 December 2019 with all owners of existing swimming pools and spas required to register their pool with Council.

Start your registration process

Register your swimming pool or spa online (Online Services: Apply for a New Licence):

Register your swimming pool or spa

October 2019 update

Between January 2000 and May 2019 there were 27 fatal drownings of young children in private swimming pools and spas in Victoria.

The Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019 will introduce mandatory requirements for owners of private swimming pools or spas to register their pool or spa with their local council. In addition, owners will be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect and certify the compliance of their safety barrier every 4 years. Under the regulations, the need for registration would also include relocatable swimming pools and spas erected for more than three consecutive days.

Currently, Council has responsibility under s212 of the Building Act 1993 to administer and enforce the Act and regulations. In addition, Council also undertakes approximately 170 pro-active random swimming pool inspections per year

The Amendments to the Act require Council to establish and maintain a swimming pool register that must contain specified information such as date of construction and the applicable barrier standard as prescribed by the regulations relating to swimming pools and spas.

The proposed new regulations now make the owner the primary person responsible for registering their pool or spa, with a requirement to engage a qualified person to perform inspections, and lodge proof of compliance resulting from that inspection with Council within the required timeframe. Periodic mandatory inspections will also be required.

Currently, Council is aware of approximately 4,500 swimming pools and spas within the municipality but this figure could be up to 7,000.

Pools constructed before 14 April 2020

For pools constructed before 14 April 2020, compliance certificates of pool and spa barrier compliance must be lodged with Council by:

  • 30 October 2020 for a swimming pool or spa constructed on or before 30 June 1994
  • 30 April 2021 for a swimming pool or spa constructed on or after 1 July 1994 and before 1 May 2010
  • 29 October 2021 for a swimming pool or spa constructed on or after 1 May 2010

Swimming Pool Inspector

A new category of Swimming Pool Inspector is part of the changes and this person must have a minimum of 6 months practical experience to meet the registration requirements.

Next steps

Council is now awaiting the final decision of the State Government to approve the new regulations.

We are preparing useful information and tools for property owners who have pools and spas to assist them in registering with us once the State Government has confirmed its approval.

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