Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Legislation

New safety laws for owners of pools and spas

On 1 December 2019, the State Government introduced legislation that impacts all current and future swimming pool and spa owners within Victoria. The intention of this legislation is to improve swimming pool and spa barrier safety. 

What will be required?

Registration

From 1 December 2019, you will be required to register your swimming pool or spa with Baw Baw Shire Council. All owners of existing swimming pools and spas are required to register their swimming pool or spa with Council by 1 June 2020.

Certification

After registration, Council will advise certain prescribed information including the date of construction of the swimming pool or spa and legislation that the barrier must satisfy. Owners will then be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect and certify the compliance of their safety barrier every four years.

For more information about the State Government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

For a copy of the Building Regulations 2018 that outlines these requirements please refer to Part 9A—Safety requirements for, registration of, and certification of barriers for, swimming pools and spas, please visit the Victorian Legislation website.

Process for registering a Swimming Pool / Spa 

STEP 1 – Register your pool or spa

All owners of existing swimming pools and spas must register their swimming pool or spa with Baw Baw Shire by 1 June 2020. The following one-off registration fees will be applicable:

  • Fee for Pools/Spas constructed, or where construction will have commenced before 1 June 2020 is $79.00; OR
  • Pools/Spas constructed on or after 1 June 2020 will be $31.80

To complete registration, complete the Application to Register a Swimming Pool or Spa Form(PDF, 9MB) and submit by one of the following methods:

By email to building2@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au

In person at:
Baw Baw Shire Council Customer Service Centre
33 Young Street DROUIN VIC 3818

By post to:
Baw Baw Shire Council
PO Box 304 WARRAGUL VIC 3820

If submitting by email or post, please ensure that the Baw Baw Shire Council Credit Card Payment form is completed. This is attached to your registration form.

STEP 2 – Information provided

After you’ve registered your relocatable or permanent pool or spa, you will receive a letter from the Shire confirming details of when your pool or spa was constructed, the applicable barrier standard that the safety barrier must comply with and the due date for lodgement of the certificate of compliance.

As a guide, the following table outlines the dates and timelines (dependent on the construction date of your swimming pool or spa) that certification documentation is to be provided:  

Construction date of swimming pool or spa  Date that the first certificate of compliance will need to be submitted to Council
 Before 30 June 1994 1 June 2021
 1 July 1994 - 1 May 2010 1 June 2022
 1 May 2010 - 1 June 2020 1 June 2023
 Relocatable pool or spa Within 30 days of registration of a relocatable pool or spa. 
 After 1 June 2020 Within 30 days after receiving the Certificate of Final Inspection/Occupancy Permit relevant to the pool/spa.


STEP 3 –
Getting your pool or spa barrier checked

Owners will then be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect the barrier and have a certificate of compliance issued.

STEP 4 – Lodgement of Certificate of Compliance or Non-Compliance

Upon receipt of a certificate, the owner is to lodge the Certificate of Compliance with Council and pay the lodgement fee. Should your inspector issue a Certificate of Non-Compliance they will submit it directly with Council and the owner will be responsible to pay the associated fee.

Refer to the following page for details relating to certificate lodgement and fees.

Please note that the owner of a property containing a permanent or relocatable swimming pool or spa will be required to undertake Steps 3 & 4 every four years.

Fees associated with registration/certificates

The following fees are applicable to registration and ongoing compliance:

Registration fee for pool/spa constructed, or where construction will have commenced before 01 June 2020 - $79.00

Registration fee for pool/spa constructed on or after 01 June 2020 - $31.80

Certificate of compliance lodgement: $20.40 (required every 4 years)

Certificate of non-compliance lodgement: $385.  This is the fee you will need to pay if your pool/spa is inspected and the safety barrier cannot be made to comply with the applicable barrier standard.

All above mentioned fees are based on the 2019/20 financial year.

Submitting a Certificate of Compliance or Non-Compliance

Certificates of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance – Form 23

Once you received a Certificate of Compliance from your Building Surveyor/Building Inspector, you will need to submit it with Council within 30 days along with the applicable fee.

You can lodge your certificate of compliance by one of the following methods:

By email to building2@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au

In person at:
Baw Baw Shire Council Customer Service Centre
33 Young Street DROUIN VIC 3818

By post to:
Baw Baw Shire Council
PO Box 304 WARRAGUL VIC 3820

If submitting by email, you will be required to complete the appropriate credit card payment form to enable processing.

Once Council receives the Certificate of Compliance, we will write back to the owner of the property confirming receipt and the next due date for the submission of the next compliance certificate.

Certificates of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-Compliance – Form 24

Should your inspector issue a Certificate of Non-Compliance they will submit it directly with Council and the owner will be responsible to pay the associated fee.

Payment of the non compliance fee can be done by completing the  Credit Card form(PDF, 483KB)  and submitting it by one of the following methods:

By email to building2@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au

By post to:
Baw Baw Shire Council
PO Box 304 WARRAGUL VIC 3820

In person at:
Baw Baw Shire Council Customer Service Centre
33 Young Street DROUIN VIC 3818

Please make sure the subject property address and registration number is completed on the credit card payment form.

How can I check if my safety barrier is compliant?

While there will be stricter laws on managing swimming pool and spa compliance, the requirement to have safety barriers installed and maintained have not changed.

In readiness for the new requirements surrounding swimming pools and spas, it is recommended that you undertake a pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment to ensure compliance.

Please visit the Victorian Building Authority website for a copy of the pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment checklist. 

Do I need a safety barrier and do I need a permit to install one?

Do I need a safety barrier?

Permanent safety barriers are required for all permanent or relocatable pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm, including:

  • in-ground swimming pools
  • hot tubs and Jacuzzis
  • indoor swimming pools
  • above-ground swimming pools
  • spas
  • inflatable and relocatable pools

Note:

  1. A lockable lid is not a compliant safety barrier.
  2. Indoor spa baths are not required to comply with the swimming pool or spa barrier requirements where used for hygiene purposes and emptied after each use.  

Do I need a building permit to install a safety barrier?

Yes, a building permit is required to install a swimming pool or spa AND install or alter a swimming pool and spa safety barrier.

For more information please download this guide from the Victorian Building Authority.

Decommissioning/removing a swimming pool or spa

It is a requirement that all swimming pool and spas have a safety barrier and are registered with Baw Baw Shire.   If you no longer wish to retain your swimming pool or spa and would like it removed from councils swimming pool and spa register, you will need to formally decommission the structure.

To suitably decommission your structure and allow the removal from Council's register, please review the Fact File – Removal or Decommission of a Swimming Pool or Spa and removal from Council Swimming Pool and Spa Register(PDF, 85KB) .

Please ensure that contact is made with Council following the decommissioning or removal of a pool or spa to arrange a site inspection (no fee is associated with this inspection).