The State Government introduced new laws around swimming pool and spa safety on 1 December 2019.
These laws aim to improve backyard pool and spa safety and reduce the number of drowning accidents that happen every year. On average, 4 young children die in home swimming pools or spas in Victoria each year. There are also many more incidents of near-drownings.
The new rules apply to pools and spas that can hold more than 300mm (30cm) of water. These include:
- In-ground pools
- Above ground pools
- Indoor pools
- Spa pools
- Relocatable, temporary or inflatable pools and spas:
- they must be capable of holding more than 300mm of water and are up for more than 3 consecutive days
What will be required
1. Register or update your pool/spa details
Owners must register their swimming pool or spa with Council before 1 June 2020. This includes pools or spas with a building permit. Once you register your existing pool or spa you do not have to register again.
Council will use current records to contact owners who currently have a pool or spa and notify them of their responsibilities. If you own a pool or spa and Council does not contact you, then you can register online.
If you own a rental property that has a pool or spa it is your responsibility to register by 1 June 2020. This includes if the tenant installed the pool or spa.
Owners who do not register your pool or spa by 1 June 2020 may incur a fine, currently $330.
You can also update your details, including notifying Council that you don't own a pool or that it's been removed. You can declare it online or you can complete the Pool and Spa Registration Amendment form.
Please note: if you have a separately fenced pool and a spa you must register them separately.
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- in-person to Customer Service
After you register, Council will let you know:
- when the pool or spa was built
- its applicable construction standard
- when owners must lodge a Certificate of Compliance with Council
There is a one-off fee to register your pool or spa. Fees are set by the Victorian Government.
|Date pool was built||Fee|
|Pools installed before 1 June 2020||$79.00|
|Pools installed after 1 June 2020||$31.80|
You can find more details and FAQs on pool registrations on the VBA website.
2. Get a Certificate of Compliance
Property owners must also have regular inspections of their pool or spa safety barriers.
Owners must get a Certificate of Compliance from a registered building surveyor or inspector and submit it to Council. The certificate must state that the safety barrier complies with its applicable construction standard. The standards depend on when the swimming pool or spa was installed.
More details on safety barrier compliance can be found on the VBA website.
Existing barrier compliance
While the new laws focus on improving pool and spa safety, the need to have secure fencing hasn’t changed. You should already have compliant safety barriers in place.
Council encourages all pool and spa owners to inspect their safety barriers using the VBA’s 3 self-assessment checklists. They reflect the relevant construction standards, depending on when your pool or spa was built.
Using these checklists will also help you get a Certificate of Compliance from your building surveyor or inspector.
VBA self-assessment checklists
- For pools and spas installed before 8 April 1991 – VBA Checklist 1
- For pools and spas installed between 8 April 1991 and 30 April 2010 – VBA Checklist 2
- For pools and spas installed from 1 May 2010 – VBA Checklist 3
You can find more details and FAQs on pool and spa inspections and compliance on the VBA website.