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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.

Building Department
1 Market Place
Hamilton Vic 3300
Phone (03) 5573 0256

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