Whether it’s summer or winter, barriers for swimming pools and spas need attention to keep our children safe. If you’re a pool or spa owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain safety barriers all year round, even if no young children live on your property.

Inflatable and relocatable pools that can hold more than 30 cm of water also need safety barriers.

water in a pool with a fence

New laws for pool and spa owners

The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to improve pool and spa safety. Find out more about these laws on the Victorian Building Authority website.

In Victoria, more than 80% of pool and spa barriers aren't meeting safety standards. On average, 4 children die in pools and spas every year.

If you own a property with a pool or spa, you will need to:

  1. Register your pool or spa with us.
  2. Have your safety barrier inspected and certified every 4 years by a registered building surveyor or inspector. You can find a practitioner to complete this inspection through the Victorian Building Authority website.
  3. Lodge a Certificate of barrier compliance with us to show that your barrier meets legal requirements. You do this by completing our Register a pool or spa or Lodge a barrier compliance certificate form.

The new, state-wide regulations aim to make pools and spas safer for everyone, particularly young children. For more information, visit our Register your pool or spa page.

Council pool and spa safety barrier inspection service

Council offers a service to inspect an existing pool or spa safety barrier against the applicable barrier standard. If there are issues causing non-compliance, you will need to fix the barrier within a set timeframe.

You can then request a certificate of barrier compliance (Form 23) if:

  • your pool is compliant
  • you fix any issues causing non-compliance after the inspection.

Costs apply to Council’s inspection of your pool and the request for a certificate of barrier compliance (Form 23).

If you would like to use this service, complete the online application form below and send it to [email protected].

Keeping your pool or spa safe

Here are some simple things you can check yourself to keep your pool or spa safe:

  • Gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Barriers must be rigid and secure.
  • Climbable objects like pot plants, garden furniture and toys should be moved 1.2 m away from the barrier.

For more tips on inspecting your barrier, use the pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment checklist on the Victorian Building Authority website.

Remember that safety barriers are no substitute for active adult supervision of children around water. 

Building permits for pools and spas

You need a Building Permit to add a new pool or spa, or alter a pool barrier. A Building Permit ensures it will meet legal requirements.  

For a step-by-step guide, see our Install a pool or spa page.

More information

For more information, contact our Building Services team on (03) 9278 4999.

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