Swimming pool and spa safety laws

The Victorian Government has introduced new safety laws for owners of existing and proposed swimming pools and spas. The new laws include:

  • Mandatory registration of swimming pools and spas including relocatable pools and spas erected for 3 or more consecutive days;
  • Establishment of a swimming pool and spa register that council maintains;
  • A new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety; and
  • Requirement to lodge a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance with your local council every 4 years.

Deadline Extended for Private Pools and Spas Registration 

The Victorian Government is extending the deadline for the mandatory registration of private pools and spas due to the impacts of coronavirus.

Private pool and spa owners now have until 1 November 2020 to register their pools with their local council – an extension of five months from the original 1 June deadline.

Please see our Pool and Spa Regulation Fact Sheet which will help you understand the new swimming pool regulations and guide you step-by-step on how to comply.

Mandatory Registration

As of 1 December 2019, if you have an existing swimming pool and spa including a relocatable pool and/or spa erected for 3 or more consecutive days, you must register your swimming pool or spa with Council.

Existing Swimming Pools and Spas

Existing swimming pools and spas must be registered by 1 November 2020.

New Swimming Pools and Spas

New pools and spas completed after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days from when you receive a certificate of final occupancy permit as referenced on your building permit.

Registering a swimming pool or spa will cost $79. This includes an information search cost for pools and spas constructed before 1 November 2020.

After you've applied to register your pool or spa, Council will place it on their register. Council must give notice in writing to you with information including:

  • the date of construction of the swimming pool or spa,
  • the applicable barrier standard and
  • the date of the next pool barrier compliance certificate is required to be lodged with the council.

Below is a flow chart to help you understand the registration process.

    Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Inspections

    Once your swimming pool is registered with Council, you can arrange an inspection to check your swimming pool safety barrier's are compliant. You'll need to arrange an inspection every 4 years. This determines if your barrier is compliant.

    An inspection can only be carried out by:

    • a registered private building surveyor; or
    • a registered private building inspector.

    You can find a registered building inspector or building surveyor by visiting Victorian Building Authority Website.

      You must ensure that you have a complying pool barrier in place at all times.

      For more information on the requirement please our Building Development and Compliance unit on 9249 4000 or visit the Victoria Building Authority website.

      Lodging a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance

      Depending on the date the pool or spa was constructed Council will decide when your certificate of compliance must be lodged. These are

      • 1 November 2021, for a swimming pool or spa with a date of construction on or before 30 June 1994; or
      • 1 November 2022 for a swimming pool or spa with a date of construction on or after 1 July 1994 and before 1 May 2010; or
      • 1 November 2023, for a swimming pool or spa with a date of construction on or after 1 May 2010.
      • 30 days after you receive the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection for the pool and spa constructed after 1 June 2020.

      Lodging a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance costs $20.40. You must lodge your certificate within 30 days from the date of the certificate.

      Following lodgement of a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance, Council must give a notice in writing to the owner indicating:

      • the date the certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance was lodged with the relevant council; and
      • the date by which the next certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance is required to be lodged with the council.

      Lodging a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-compliance

      If the inspector determines that your safety barrier is not compliant, they can:

      • immediately issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance; or
      • issue you a written notice specifying:
        • the matters which must be addressed to bring the pool barrier into compliance;
        • the period in which the barrier must be made compliant (within a maximum of 60 days); and
        • the date and time they intend to reinspect the barrier.

      After re-inspection, if the inspector determines that you barrier is compliant, they'll issue a certificate of barrier compliance, which you must then lodge with council.

      If the barrier remains non-compliant, but the inspector is satisfied that progress has been made towards bringing the barrier into compliance, they may allow you an extra 7 days to rectify the barrier. Otherwise they'll issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance.

      If an inspector issues a certificate of barrier non-compliance, the inspector must lodge it with the relevant council and provide the owner with a copy.

      Council will send the owner a fine of $385 which must be paid by the due date specified in the notice.

      Council Enforcement

      When Council receives a certificate of barrier non-compliance, the municipal building surveyor will issue:

      • a barrier improvement notice; or
      • a notice or order under the Building Act 1993 (if the municipal building surveyor considers that this is appropriate, depending on the nature of the non-compliance).

      Removal of Swimming Pool or Spa from Register

      If you demonstrate to the satisfaction of Council that

      • a swimming pool or spa no longer exists; or
      • is no longer capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300 mm;

      Council must remove the swimming pool from its register. After council removes the swimming pool or spa, Council will give you a notice stating;

      • the information about the swimming pool or spa has been removed from the register; and
      • you no longer need to lodge further certificates of pool and spa barrier compliance.