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.
The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to make swimming pools and spas safer for everyone.
Owners of residential properties with a pool or spa will now have to:
What are the new laws?
The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to make outdoor and indoor swimming pools and spas safer for everyone.
All swimming pools and spas must be registered with your local Council and a certificate of compliance provided stating that safety standards for fencing/barriers have been met.
The age of your pool safety barrier determines which safety standard must be met.
For more, read the swimming pool and spa legislation.
Why have the new laws been introduced?
The Victorian Government introduced this new scheme after numerous Coronial investigations found that unmaintained and non-compliant pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools.
Read more on the Victorian Building Authority website.
What type of pools/spas are impacted?
All swimming pools and spas on residential properties in Victoria that are capable of holding more than 300 mm (30 cm) of water are required to have a pool safety barrier to restrict access to a pool/spa area by young children (under the age of 5).
This also includes inflatable pools, above ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs, and bathing or wading pools.
In addition, all gates, fences or walls that form part of the barrier around the pool/spa must be kept in good working condition.
What is a relocatable Pool/Spa?
Relocatable pools/spas that consist of multiple components and require assembly and are subject to the barrier requirements. A small inflatable pool that only requires inflation and no assembly is not subject to this legislation.
Step 1 - Register
How to register
Registration costs $79 which includes a registration fee of $31.80 and a records search fee of $47.20.
Payment is made via credit card through a simple online form.
What information do I need to provide?
To register you simply need to provide your name, property address and contact details. You will need to upload any documentation in relation to your pool/spa (if available).
Why do I have to pay for a records search?
Under the new Victorian laws, Councils are responsible for determining when your pool/spa and associated safety barrier was constructed and therefore which safety standard applies.
Council will conduct an archive search to verify the age of your pool/spa and safety barrier. This is covered by the $47.20 records search fee. If you are able to upload your Certificate of Final Inspection for your Pool/Spa Barrier at the time of registration, Council will refund you the search fee of $47.20.
If the age of your pool/spa and safety barrier cannot be verified, the current safety standard will be applied.
Find out more about Registration on the Victorian Building Authority website.
When do I have to register by?
All existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 November 2020.
Any new pools or spas built after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days after issue of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.
What happens next?
Once you have registered your pool, Council will confirm via email:
- the age of your pool/spa and associated safety barrier
- the level of barrier standards you must meet
- when you must lodge your first compliance certificate with Council.
Step 2 - Inspect & Repair
How to arrange a pool inspection
Once your swimming pool/spa has been registered with Council, you must arrange an inspection to ensure the safety barrier around your pool/spa meets the required standard.
Read more about Inspection & Compliance on the Victorian Building Authority website.
An inspection of your pool or spa barrier can be carried out by:
- a registered building surveyor or building inspector
- any registered building practitioner whose registration authorises the carrying out of inspections of pools or spas, including the associated barriers.
Note: If you construct a pool or spa after 1 November 2020, the registered building surveyor who conducts a mandatory inspection following the construction of a pool or spa barrier can also conduct the inspection and issue a certificate of barrier compliance.
Search for a registered building practitioner authorised to carry out of inspections on the Victorian Building Authority website.
There is no set fee for a safety barrier inspection. The Victorian Building Authority recommends you obtain quotes from at least two practitioners before you proceed with the inspection.
What can I do before the pool inspection?
Once Council has given you the relevant barrier standard you can use the corresponding checklist below prior to your pool inspection.
What do I do after the inspection?
After inspecting the pool or spa safety barrier, the inspector will either:
1. Issue you with a certificate of compliance if your pool/spa barrier meets the required standard
2. If the barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard, the inspector will:
- issue a written notice of repairs needed (within a maximum of 60 days, when they will re-inspect)
- issue an immediate certificate of barrier non-compliance if the barrier poses a significant or immediate risk to life or safety, or is not likely to be repaired within 60 days.
How do I arrange any required repairs or changes?
You can engage a private contractor to undertake any required repairs.
It is recommended you obtain quotes from at least two practitioners before you proceed with engaging a contractor to undertake works.
Step 3 - Lodge Compliance Certificate
How do I obtain a compliance certificate?
A certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance certifies that a pool or spa safety barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard.
The following persons can conduct barrier inspections and issue certificates of barrier compliance:
- a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector;
- a swimming pool and spa inspector.
Read more about compliance certificates at the Victorian Building Authority website.
When do I have to lodge the compliance certificate?
Under the Victorian law, the due date for lodging your certificate of compliance depends on the age of your pool/spa safety barrier.
| Date of construction
| Before 30 June 1994
1 November 2021
| July 1994 - 1 May 2010
1 November 2022
| 1 May 2010 - 31 May 2020
1 November 2023
| After 1 November 2020
Within 30 days of occupancy permit/ certificate of final inspection
Fines of up to $1652.20 may apply to owners who fail to provide a certificate of compliance by the due date.
Please note: Once you have received your compliance certificate, please lodge it with Council as soon as possible. Compliance Certificates are valid for 30 days from the time of issue, so make sure you lodge with Council to avoid another inspection.
How do I lodge my certificate of compliance
You can lodge your certificate of compliance online.
A fee of $20.40 will apply to lodge the certificate.
Step 4 - Update
How often do I need to update the certificate?
To meet the requirements of the new Victorian laws, you must update your certificate of registration every four years.
Do I need to re-register when I update?
No. You only need to register once. After four years, you will need to arrange another inspection to obtain a Certificate of Compliance stating that your pool/spa barrier still meets required standards.
The new Certificate of Compliance must then be lodged with Council.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my pool/spa has been removed?
If you have removed your pool/spa, you will need to notify Council and provide evidence that this has occurred.
Complete the online form and upload evidence that the pool/spa has been removed, such as photographs.
Please note: An inspection may be required to verify the pool/spa has been removed.
What if I want to remove my pool?
Some people may decide they no longer want a pool/spa or that the cost of required repairs is too great.
You may require a building permit to ensure your pool/spa is safely removed.
If you are considering removing your pool/spa, please contact Council for further assistance on 1300 653 356.
What if l never had a pool/spa on my property?
If you recently received a letter from Council asking you to register your pool/spa, this is because at some time council was notified, possibly by previous owners, that a pool/spa was located on the site. The pool/spa may have been removed from the site, prior to you purchasing the premises, but Council was never advised of its removal. Council has duty of care to make sure all pools and spa’s are registered by the 1 June 2020.
If your pool or spa has been removed please email Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the City of Kingston, Building Department PO Box 1000 Mentone 3194, advising Council that a pool/spa has never been located on the site. In some circumstances Council offices may need to undertake an inspection of the site.
If my pool or spa is empty do I need to register?
Yes, you are required to register your pool or spa even if it does not contain any water presently.
Do the laws apply to relocatable/temporary pools?
Yes. Under the Victorian Government's new laws, relocatable pools or spas are covered by the new laws if they remain erected for three consecutive days or more.
This covers any pool/spa that is capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300 mm and can include inflatable children's pools if they are erected for more than three consecutive days.
If the relocatable pool/spa is erected for more than three consecutive days it must be registered with Council by the fourth day it is erected.
What happens if a non-compliance certificate is issued?
A pool inspector can issue a non-compliance certificate in the event of serious safety issues or if repairs have not been made following an inspection.
The pool inspector is responsible for lodging the non-compliance certificate with Council.
What if I have recently bought a property with a pool/spa?
Please contact Council on 1300 653 356 to check whether your pool/spa has been correctly listed on the register.
If it has been registered, Council will advise when your next Certificate of Compliance is due.
Do I need permission to build a new pool/spa?
A building permit is required to be obtained prior to the installation of any swimming pool or spa as specified above, that is capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300mm (30cm) and to install and/or alter an existing swimming pool safety barrier. You will be required to submit a design and site plan fully detailing the type and location of the barriers which include but are not limited to:
- Fly screens that restrict access to the swimming pool or spa
- Self-closing devices etc.
For more information and helpful resources see the Victorian Building Authority website.
What do I do if I am a renter?
It is the property owner's responsibility to have their pool/spa barrier registered and inspected, and to lodge the certificate of compliance.
Check with the property owner or your property manager to find out if the property you live at has been properly registered by 1 June 2020.
I have a Pool and Spa, do I have to register twice?
In cases where there are multiple swimming pools and spas located on a property, the number of registration applications required to be submitted, and consequently the number of inspections of the barrier(s) required, depends on whether the pools and spas are enclosed within a single barrier or multiple barriers.
Provided that they are enclosed by the same barrier, the regulations allow for multiple swimming pools and spas to be registered under a single application. In these cases, a single registration fee and information search fee would be payable. Only one certificate of barrier compliance would be required to be lodged regardless of how many swimming pools are located within that barrier.
If the swimming pools are enclosed separately by individual barriers, then each swimming pool must be registered under a separate application, to (or more) sets of fees would be payable. Separate certificates of barrier compliance must be lodged for each barrier.