Swimming Pools and Spas

New safety laws for owners of pools and spas

New laws introduced by the Victorian Government on December 1 2019 require:

  • Mandatory registration of existing swimming pools and spas with Council by 1 June 2020
  • A new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety

Pool and spa registration and inspection

Step 1. Register your pool or spa with Council
Property owners, including landlords, are required to register their existing pool or spa with Council by 1 June 2020. 

New pools or spas built after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days after issue of certificate of final inspection or occupancy permit.

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online form. 

A fee of $79 will apply to register your pool or spa, which includes a registration fee and a records search fee.

After registering your Pool or Spa with Council you will receive a letter advising of the time-frames to lodge your Certificate of Barrier Compliance and the applicable barrier standard for your pool or spa.

Register your pool or spa

Step 2. Have your safety barriers inspected for compliance by a registered building practitioner

After registering your pool or spa with Council, property owners are then required to have their swimming pool and spa barriers inspected and certified.

You will need to engage the services of a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector.

You can find a licensed inspector by using the Victorian Building authority: Find a practitioner tool
You will need to provide the barrier details you received after registration of your pool or spa to the person conducting the inspection.

A compliance certificate will be issued stating that the barrier of the swimming pool or spa complies with the applicable requirements. These requirements vary, depending on when the pool or spa was installed.

This certificate must be lodged with Council within 30 days of the issue date.

Step 3. Provide a copy of the Certificate of Compliance to Council.

When your certificate of pool barrier compliance has been issued, you need to lodge it with Council within 30 days of issue.

A fee of $20.40 will apply to lodge the certificate

Upload Certificate of Compliance to Council

Step 4. Lodging a certificate of barrier non-compliance

Inspectors can lodge a certificate of barrier non-compliance with Council via email

building@mildura.vic.gov.au

Step 5. – Update of Certificate

To meet the requirements of the new laws you must have your pool or spa barrier inspected every four years and lodge the compliance certificate with Council.

You will NOT be required to re-register the pool or spa.

 

Time-frames

Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 June 2020.

New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

Costs

There will be a cost to:

  • Register your pool/spa with Council - $79
  • Lodge your certificate of compliance with Council - $20.40

The cost of registration and lodging the certificates with Council are set by the Victorian Government.

The cost of the inspection of the safety barriers will be up to the individual inspector and will depend on your particular circumstances. Consider getting quotes from several companies to ensure a competitive rate.

Are you compliant? You can check

You can check if your pool or spa barriers are compliant using the Victorian Building Authority’s 3 self-assessment checklists. They reflect the standards and regulations that are applied to your pool or spa, depending on your installation date. Choose the one applicable on the VBA's website - www.vba.vic.gov.au 

All swimming pools and spas must have a safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area. 

Owners of properties with a swimming pool or spa have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain swimming pool and spa safety barriers to reduce the risk of unsupervised access. Residents must also ensure these barriers are always closed.

 

 

Which pools and spas must be registered?

Any swimming pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 30cm and used, designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa must be registered with Council.

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 (including portable spas).

This does not include:

  • structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, fountains
  • spas inside a building that are used for personal hygiene
  • inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 30cm and will be erected for less than 3 days
  • water supply/storage tanks
  • dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.

Why have the requirements changed?

Drownings and near drownings are the most common cause of preventable death or disability. The number of drowning incidents, and the high levels of non-compliance of safety barriers with the Building Act’s requirements, indicate that the past regulatory requirements have not been successful in ensuring the safety of private swimming pools and spas.

When do I need to register by?

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal from 2 December 2019.

Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 June 2020.

New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

Do I need to register my swimming pool and spa separately?

Where an owner has both a swimming pool and a spa, they will need to register the swimming pool and spa separately with Council unless the swimming pool and spa were installed together (i.e. both pool and detached spa are in the same approved pool/spa enclosure) or form part of each other.

How do I register?

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal - you'll start by entering your address:

 Register your pool or spa

What does it cost?

Costs include:

  • The Registration Fee is $79.00 which includes a registration fee of $31.80 and a records search fee of $47.20

  • have your safety barriers inspected by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector - this price will vary depending on the individual inspector/inspection

  • lodge your certificate of compliance with Council - $20.40

    The cost of registration and lodging the certificates with Council are set by the Victorian Government.

    The cost of the inspection of the safety barriers will be up to the individual inspector and will depend on your particular circumstances. Consider getting quotes from several companies to ensure a better rate.


What happens after I register?

When you complete your application to register your swimming pool or spa, Council will email you confirming:

  • the date or the period of construction of the swimming pool
  • the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with
  • the date the safety barriers must be certified as compliant by.

The timeframe to provide this information will depend on the age of the swimming pool or spa and may take up to 30 days.

Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain registered until the swimming pool or spa is removed and the owner applies to take it off the register.

Registrations, once submitted, do not need to be renewed for the life of the pool or spa.

Inspections and the submission of certificates of compliance must be completed every 4 years.

What happens if I don’t register?

It is an offence not to register within the required time frame and is subject to a fine of $330.