Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Legislation

New safety laws for owners of pools and spas

To be introduced December 2019

The Victorian government recently announced new legislation that will impact 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.

Whilst the complete extent of the legislation is yet to be released, it will require that owners of swimming pools and spas register their structure with council and have ongoing safety compliance inspections (every 3 years) to confirm safety barrier standards are being maintained.   

What will be required?

Registration

 From 1 December 2019, you will be required to register your swimming pool or spa with your local council. All owners of existing swimming pools and spas will be required to register their swimming pool or spa by 14 April 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 three years.

Once the legislation has been made available Council will update its website with further information, guidance material, lodgement fee amounts and registration forms.

For more information about the new state government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

Note: The above information is provided based on draft regulations released for public comment.

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 hasn’t changed.

Prior to summer and in readiness for the new requirements to register your pool or spa and have the safety barrier inspected it is recommended that you undertake a pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment to ensure compliance.

For a copy of the Victorian Building Authorities pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment checklists, please visit: https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/safety-guides/swimming-pools

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: A lockable lid is not a compliant safety barrier.

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.