Under a State Government law to reduce the risk of children drowning, owners are required to register their swimming pools and spa by 1 November 2020.
The State Government introduced the new legislation requirements in late 2019 for pools and spas, which are now required to be registered with Council.
Council is implementing the registration scheme and ensuring that all pools and spas within the municipality are registered. This includes relocatable pools and spas.
Due to COVID-19 impacts, the State Government extended the deadline for pool registrations to 1 November 2020, from the original date of 1 June 2020.
The new laws are the result of coronial inquests where unsafe and non-compliant pool or spa barriers contributed to the drowning death of children.
Over the last 20 years, 27 children drowned in Victorian backyard swimming pools and spas. For every fatal drowning, there are about six more non-fatal incidents, with about 20 per cent of these resulting in long-term behavioural and learning impairment.
Having up-to-date safety barriers can actively help to reduce the risk of a child getting into a pool area and drowning.
A survey by the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group in 2018 found that about 90 per cent of people surveyed had non-compliant pool and spa barriers, and that generally, owners had a poor understanding of the requirements they had to meet.
Under the new State Government laws, pool and spa owners are required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector every four years, to certify that their safety barriers are compliant.
Visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/poolregistration to start the registration process.
The State Government law required Council to take charge of the mandatory registration scheme from 1 December, 2019, with all swimming pool and spa owners required to contact their local Council to register their pool and/or spa by 1 November, 2020.
Compliance certificates for pool and spa safety barriers will be required every four years.
Suggested due dates for compliance certificates are staggered depending on the age of the pool or spa.
Swimming pools and spas state-wide are expected to be compliant as per the below dates in the table below.
Swimming pool/spa construction date
First certificate of swimming pool barrier compliance due (Form 23)
30 June, 1994 or earlier
1 November 2021
From 1 July, 1994 – 1 May 2010
1 November 2022
From 1 May, 2010 or later
1 November 2023
On or after 1 June 2020
At the time of applying for registration
The date the relocatable swimming pool was last erected as specified in the application form (Form 22)
No later than 30 days after the date the pool was registered
Swimming Pool and spas constructed without a building permit including the associated safety barrier will require a certificate of pool compliance to be submitted to Council by 1 November 2021.
Registrations will be at a capped cost, which will cover the cost to Council for implementing the registrations scheme.