New regulations to improve private pool and spa safety will commence 1 December 2019. Since 2000, 27 young children have drowned in private pools and spas in Victoria. In at least 20 of those cases, the coroner found the safety barrier was non-compliant.

To reduce the chance of further tragedies occurring new regulations have been made requiring land owners to register their private pools and spas with their local council and to arrange for the periodic inspection and certification of their safety barriers.

Owners must apply to register their existing pool or spa by 1 June 2020. The council will inform owners of the date by which they must organise the first inspection and certification of their barrier.

The inspection and certification must be undertaken by a registered building surveyor or inspector and the barrier must be re-certified every four years.

In July 2019 DELWP released the draft Regulations and a Regulatory Impact Statement for public comment. These consultation documents can be accessed on the Victorian Government Engage Victoria website.

Feedback from over 1,200 submissions was considered when finalising the regulations and some amendments were made to address key themes. These changes focused on:

  • Implementation timeframes;
  • Frequency at which barriers must be inspected and certified;
  • Giving councils the ability to charge an information search fee in addition to the registration fee for existing pools and spas;
  • Reducing the registration fee;
  • Extending timeframes for owners to bring their barriers into compliance before the matter is referred to council;
  • Improving transparency around works on safety barriers performed by the inspector prior to certification.

The final version of the Regulations can be accessed via Victorian Legislation.

The Regulations will commence on 1 December.

For further information, please visit the Victorian Building Authority.

Page last updated: 29/11/19