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Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool and Spa Register

New mandatory pool and spa registration
From 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety come into effect in Victoria. They introduce new registration, inspection and certification requirements for property owners.
As part of the changes, owners are required to register their pool and spa with their local council and have their safety barrier inspected once every four years.

Please note: Relocatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.

What pools and spas need to be registered?
Any swimming pool or spa that is capable of holding more than 300mm (30cm) of water needs to be registered.
This includes in-ground and above ground pools and spas, inflatable pools, indoor pools and spa pools, children’s paddling and wading pools, spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas and portable spas.
This does not include bodies of water such as birdbaths, fish ponds, fountains, spas inside a building/bathroom that are used for personal hygiene and contain a drain plug, water supply/storage tanks and dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.

How long to I have to register?
The regulations state that owners will be required to register their swimming pool or spa from 1 December 2019. Registrations will run until the 1 June 2020.
Swimming pools and spas that are built after the 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days after the certificate of final inspection is issued.

Registration Costs

Type of Fee or Penalty Amount (2019-2020)
Pool or spa registration fee: A one-off fee payable to the relevant council for the registration of your pool or spa. $31.80
Information search fee (if applicable): This fee enables the council to conduct the appropriate searches to determine the date of construction of your pool or spa and any associated building permits, which determines the applicable barrier standard. The information search fee only applies to pools or spas constructed before 1 June 2020. $47.20
Failure to register swimming pool or spa within relevant timeframe: up to $1,652.20

If I have a swimming pool and spa, do I need to register them separately?
A pool and spa can be registered in a single application, however if they are protected by separate barrier systems there may be differences in the standards to which they are inspected depending on construction dates for each one.
If the swimming pools are enclosed separately by individual barriers, then each swimming pool must be registered under a separate application, and two (or more) sets of fees would be payable.

What happens if I don’t register?
The regulations state that it will be an offence not to register within the required timeframe which will be subject to a penalty.

What happens after I register?
When you complete your application to register your swimming pool or spa, Council will confirm the date of the construction of the swimming pool, the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with and the date that the certificate of compliance for the safety barrier(s) must be lodged by.
Once the swimming pool and/or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain on the register until the owner removes or decommissions the swimming pool or spa and applies to Council to remove it from the register.

Further information
Further information in relation to the VBA swimming pool registration and inspection process can be found at https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools

If you are planning on building or installing a swimming pool or spa there are regulations that must be followed and adhered to. In Victoria, the design, construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers are subject to strict building requirements under the Building Regulations 2006. The Regulations also contain ongoing legal obligations for pool and spa owners to maintain their safety barriers at all times.

Failure to comply with the regulations can increase the risk of drowning and lead to prosecution by the VBA or local councils.

Swimming pools and spas in Victoria must comply with the following requirements

  • All swimming pools and spas with a depth of more than 300mm (30cm) must have a safety fence or barrier that meets the Australian Standard. This also applies to inflatable or relocatable pools and spas
  • A swimming pool or spa and associated safety barriers can be constructed by a registered builder or by an owner-builder who has obtained a certificate of consent from the Building Practitioners Board
  • A registered builder must be engaged under a written domestic building contract to carry out building work in excess of $5000 (including labour and materials) and an owner-builder must obtain a Certificate of Consent for work in excess of $16,000
  • A Building Permit, issued by a registered Building Surveyor, must be obtained to construct a pool or spa, as well as the associated safety barriers. You can apply for a Building Permit through Council's Municipal Building Surveyor, or a Private Building Surveyor
  • During construction, a compliant temporary safety barrier must be in place and maintained to ensure it is in proper working order. Talk to your registered builder to agree on who will be installing and maintaining the temporary barrier, and later the permanent barrier, and ensure this is written into the contract
  • All outdoor swimming pools and spas built since 1 May 2010 must not have direct access to the pool area via a door from a building, such as a house, garage, shed etc.
  • Swimming pool gates must be self-latching and self-closing from any position, and should never be propped open. It is illegal to do this
  • Safety barriers must not be installed within 900mm of trees, barbeques or other structures that children can use to climb up and over to access the swimming pool or spa. Any objects inside or outside the pool fence that children might use to climb into the swimming pool or spa area, such as pot plants and chairs must be moved away from the barrier

Once the pool or spa is completed and a permanent safety barrier is installed, it needs to be inspected and approved by the Relevant Building Surveyor. A certificate of Final Inspection can then be issued.

All required Forms can be found on our Building Resources and Forms webpage.

Contact
Building Department
1 Market Place
Hamilton Vic 3300
Phone (03) 5573 0256
Email building@sthgrampians.vic.gov.au

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