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 each 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. Council will use existing records to contact owners who currently own 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.
You can also update your details, including notifying Council that your pool has been removed.
Please note: if you have both a pool and a spa you must register them separately.
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- in-person to Customer Service
If your pool has been removed you must also include a statutory declaration when submitting the form. Details on the statutory declaration should include:
- the address of the property
- the date that the pool/spa was removed
- any other relevant information
- the owner's signature
You can download a statutory declaration form from the Department of Justice. Their website also contains details on how to get it authorised.
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|
More details on pool registrations can be found 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.
You can also view the FAQs for barrier inspection and compliance.
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
For more information about the new legislation and other requirements, please check the new laws for pool and spa owners FAQs.