In brief - New rules designed to reduce avoidable deaths and
injuries to children
Swimming pool owners in NSW and Queensland must register their
pool or risk incurring a fine. The same requirement is likely to be
introduced in Victoria by May 2014.
Swimming pool owners must comply with new council
With summer beckoning, most Australians are now rolling back
their pool covers and wheeling out their barbeques. However, before
we do this, a new council requirement must be met. In Queensland
and New South Wales, if you have a pool or a spa at your home, you
must register it or face a fine.
For those in Victoria, the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of
Victoria expects this to be a requirement by May 2014.
What is the purpose of the Swimming Pool Register?
The Swimming Pool Register is a state-wide record of all private
backyard swimming pools and spas, kept and controlled by the
respective state governments. It will be used to assist councils
and water safety agencies to direct water safety information and
compliance updates to pool owners.
The aim of the Register is to promote pool safety and pool
compliance in the face of avoidable deaths and injuries to children
in backyard swimming pools. The Register will provide pool owners
with pool safety checklists to assist with self-assessment of the
current safety and compliance of their pool barriers, whilst also
promoting their regular and continued maintenance
What are the legal requirements for pool fencing?
In all states and territories in Australia, pool owners are
legally required to fence all bodies of water over 300mm in depth
that are primarily used for human aquatic activity. The
requirements for pool fencing vary depending on the age of the
pool, the type of property, where you live, the geographical
setting of the property and your property configuration.
For requirements that will apply to your pool specifically,
please contact your local council.
Pool owners have a responsibility to protect children
Having a private pool or spa carries many of the same
responsibilities as if you were operating a public pool.
Ultimately, you are obligated to provide a safe, clean environment
for your family and friends. You have a duty as a pool owner to
protect children; yours, those of your friends and those of your
Or alternatively, you can register your pool at the office of
your local council for a small fee.
What are the consequences of not registering your swimming
In Queensland, if your pool is discovered to be unregistered by
your local council, you may be issued an on the spot fine of $220
and if the matter is referred to a court, a maximum fine of up to
$2,200 may be imposed upon you, as the deadline for registration
was 4 November 2011.
In NSW, the deadline for registration is 29 October
2013. If you do not register your pool before this date,
you may be liable for the same fines as now applicable in
Another important consideration is whether your insurance
company would cover you should the worst case scenario occur in
your pool and it is unregistered. A dreadful thought yes, but a
Now you've registered, do you need a council issued
Already in Queensland, and come 29 April 2014 in NSW, it is a
requirement under law to have a registration certificate and a pool
compliance certificate if your property has a pool and you want to
sell or lease. If you live in a unit or apartment complex, your
strata manager holds the compliance certificate on behalf of all
Costing a maximum of $150 for an initial inspection (and no more
than $100 for every subsequent inspection if required), your local
council or an accredited certifier can issue you a pool compliance
certificate. A compliance certificate is valid for three years
unless a subsequent inspection finds your pool to be
You can't afford not to register your swimming pool
Registering your pool may be a temporary inconvenience, but can
you really afford not to register it? Make your summer one to
remember, not one to forget.
Because of the high costs, royal commissions should only be convened to address issues of substantial public importance.
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