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Safety laws for pool and spa owners

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 is required

1. Register or update your pool/spa details

All owners of swimming pools and spas must register with Council. Register your pool or update your details online.

Once you register your pool or spa you do not have to register again.

If you own a rental property that has a pool or spa it is your responsibility to register. This includes if the tenant installed the pool or spa.

Owners who do not register their pool or spa as required may incur a fine: $369.80 as of 1 July 2023.

If you require to update your details, including notifying Council that you don't own a pool or that it's been removed, please email Pool registrations at [email protected]

Please note: Registration for a future proposed pool or spa cannot be made until a building permit is issued prior to commencement of any works and all the works are inspected and finalised.

Building permits are issued by Private Building Surveyors which may be sourced over the internet. To locate a Private Building Surveyor please click here to access the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors list of members who may be able to assist you further in this matter.

If you have a separately fenced pool and a spa you must register them separately.

Register your pool or update your details online

If you can't complete the online form you can download the Pool and Spa Registration form and submit it by:

After registration

After you register, Council will let you know:

  • the applicable construction standard
  • when owners must lodge a Certificate of Compliance with Council

Registration fees

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 November 2020 $82.20
Pools installed after 1 November 2020 $32.90

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.

Pools or Spas constructed after 1 November 2020

When registering a pool or spa constructed after 1 November 2020, the Certificate of Compliance issued by the relevant building surveyor (as part of the building permit process), must be lodged at the time of registration or within 30days of registration.

Lodge a Certificate of Compliance online

Council will notify you confirming lodgement of the Certificate of Compliance and the due date for your next Certificate of Compliance (required every 4 years).

Owners of existing pools (constructed before 1 November 2020)

The Certificate of Compliance for existing pools can be obtained after inspection by a registered building surveyor or inspector. This certificate must then be lodged with 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.

The due date to submit a Certificate of Compliance will depend on when your pool or spa was built.

Lodge a Certificate of Compliance online

Council will notify you confirming lodgement of the Certificate of Compliance and the due date for your next Certificate of Compliance (required every 4 years).

Note: If you have registered your pool or spa and have been notified to lodge your first Certificate of Compliance on or by 1st November 2021, 2022 or 2023, you do not need to apply for an extension of time. State Government have announced a state-wide time extension due to Covid 19. Your first Certificate of Compliance will now be due:

  • 1 June 2022, instead of 1 November 2021
  • 1 June 2023, instead of 1 November 2022
  • 1 June 2024, instead of 1 November 2023

How to request an inspection

Find a Victorian registered pool inspector online by visiting the Victorian Building Authority website.

Under the 'type of work' drop down menu, select either:

  • Building inspector - Pool safety (company) or
  • Building inspector - Pool safety (Natural Person)

Complete your address details and select a registered pool safety inspector.

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

You can find more details and FAQs on pool and spa inspections and compliance on the VBA website.

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