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Swimming Pools and Spas

Why do I have to register my pool and spa?

The majority of drowning deaths of children under five happen in home swimming pools. In Victoria alone, there have been 27 fatal drownings in private swimming pools and spas over the last 19 years.

The Victorian Coroner found in at least 20 of these cases the safety barrier was non-compliant, and this is likely to have played a role in the deaths.

New safety barrier laws for pools and spas for Victoria came into effect on 1 December 2019.

The Building Regulations 2018 require virtually all domestic pools and spas to be registered with Council and to undergo regular inspections to ensure their associated safety barriers remain compliant with the relevant barrier safety standard. Pool owners are not required to upgrade their barrier to the latest standard, only to remain compliant with the standard that applied at the time the barrier was constructed.

What is the process of registering my pool or spa?
  1. Please complete the relevant form (with the attached payment details) above depending on the construction date of your pool or spa.
  2. Submit the completed documents to basscoast@basscoast.vic.gov.au

  3. After you register: We will send you a letter which outlines the applicable building standard which applies to your barrier and the date by which you need to arrange an inspection.

    It may take up to 28 days to receive this letter which you will then need to provide to your chosen inspector. If your registration is urgent e.g. where a property is being listed for sale, please contact buildingadmin@basscoast.vic.gov.au and we will try to assist.
  4. Organise an inspection: Your pool or spa barrier needs to be inspected and certified to show that it is safe. Council officers do not undertake these inspections and you will need to engage an authorised inspector who will refer to the letter issued by Council advising of the date of the pool or spa and advise you whether your barrier meets the required standard or what you need to do to make it safe. You can search for a registered building practitioner authorised to carry out inspections and certification using the Find a practitioner tool.
  5. Lodge your Certificate with Council: When your barrier meets the required safety standard, your building surveyor or inspector will issue you a Certificate of Compliance. You will need to lodge your certificate together with the below form (and attached payment form) with Council within 30 days.

    If your barrier does not meet the required safety standards, your Building Surveyor or Building Inspector will direct you to carry out the necessary maintenance within a specified time frame. Once any defects have been fixed, the practitioner can then issue a Compliance Certificate. You are then required to submit the certificate to Council and pay the prescribed fee.
  6. Inspections to be carried out every four years - A registered building surveyor or building inspector will to inspect and certify the compliance of your safety barrier every four years.

If your pool or spa is removed or demolished you'll need to notify us so that you're no longer obligated to provide certificate of compliance every 4 years. We'll remove your pool or spa from our register. Remember to check if you need a permit before you demolish or remove your pool or spa by speaking to a private building surveyor or contacting the Victorian Building Authority on

Do I have to register my relocatable pool?

Relocatable (moveable or portable) pools and spas on land that you own must be registered if they are erected for three or more consecutive days.

  • If it was erected before 1 November 2020 for at least 3 consecutive days and remained erected on 1 November 2020, you must register by 4 November 2020.If it was erected on or after 1 November 2020 and remains erected for three consecutive days, you must register the pool and spa on the fourth day after it was erected.

If your relocatable pool or spa is only in place for a period less than three consecutive days, there is no need to apply for registration.

Who is responsible for registering the pool/spa?

Owners

If you own a property with a permanent or portable pool or spa, you need to register it.

The owner’s corporation must register a pool or spa on common property it manages.

Property agents

Property agents need to contact owners to make sure they register.

Renters

If you rent a property with a pool or spa, your landlord needs to register it.

If you have a temporary pool or spa, ask your landlord to register it.

How do I know if the property I’m interested in buying has a registered and compliant pool?

This is the private information of the property owner. Council cannot discuss such matter with anyone other than the current owner of the property. Purchasers should seek these certifications from the vendor.

Do I need a safety barrier?

Permanent safety barriers are required for all permanent or relocatable pools and spas able to hold a depth of water over 30cm, 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, if you’re installing a swimming pool or spa and a safety barrier you will also need a Building Permit.

Where can I find more information?