Swimming pool and spa barriers
All swimming pools and spas must have a safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by children under the age of five or unaccompanied by a responsible supervisor.
Owners of properties with a swimming pool or spa have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain swimming pool and spa safety barriers to reduce the risk of unsupervised children gaining access.
Residents must also ensure that the gate in these barriers is always closed except when entering or exiting the pool or spa.
These legal obligations apply to all swimming pools and spas in Victoria.
New safety laws for owners of pools and spas
To come into effect on 1 December 2019
These new laws introduced by the Victorian Government will require:
- mandatory registration of swimming pools and spas
- a new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety.
What will be required
From 1 December 2019, property owners, including landlords, will be required to register their pool or spa with council. Early voluntary registration can be made through the VBA website here.
Council will maintain the register of swimming pools and spas within the municipality through owner registrations, existing council records and aerial photography to ensure the database is up to date.
Property owners will also be required to have their swimming pool and spa barriers inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector, stating that the barrier of a swimming pool or spa complies with the applicable requirements. These requirements vary, depending on when the pool or spa was installed. The owner must then provide a copy of the certificate of compliance to council.
The exact details, including inspection commencement date and frequency of inspections are expected to be released late 2019.
Are you compliant? You can check.
While there will be stricter laws on managing pool and spa compliance, the requirement to have safety barriers has not changed. You were already expected to have safety barriers in place.
You can check if your pool or spa barriers are compliant using the Victorian Building Authority's two self assessment checklists. They reflect the standards and regulations that are applied to your pool or spa, depending on your installation date. Choose the one applicable on the VBA's website
Safety barriers and your responsibility