New safety regulations for private pools and spas have officially come into effect.

During this summer period, pool and spa owners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new requirements which started on December 1.

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.

The Victorian Government has introduced new regulations to reduce the possibility of further tragedies.

These new regulations require owners to register their pool or spa with their local council by 1 June 2020 and to have a registered building surveyor or inspector certify that their safety barrier is compliant every four years.

Owners of relocatable pools and spas will also be required to register with their local council if the pool or spa remains in place for more than 3 days.

As part of these reforms, we are also creating a new class of registered pool safety practitioner to boost the existing number of registered building surveyors and building inspectors who can carry out inspection and certification functions.

Applicants for this new pool safety inspector class will be required to undertake a course in swimming pool and spa safety barrier inspection and demonstrate six months of practical experience.

The reforms build on councils’ existing responsibilities for ensuring the ongoing compliance of swimming pool and spa safety within their municipalities.

Guidance and support will continue to be provided to local councils to ensure they understand their responsibilities in enforcing the new regulations. Information has also been prepared to inform pool and spa owners about the actions that they must take.

Councils will inform owners of the date by which they must organise their first inspection and certification of their safety barrier. This will be determined by the age of the pool or spa, with older ones to be inspected first.

Inspections and certification can only be carried out by registered building surveyors and building inspectors. It is the owner’s responsibility to engage a practitioner to carry out the inspection.

If the inspection reveals that the barrier is non-compliant with the relevant standard, the owner will have up to 60 days to complete rectification works. Serious cases of non-compliance will be referred directly to council for follow up action.

For more detailed information on what these new regulations involve, visit vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools.

https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/building-policy/swimming-pool-safety-requirements

Page last updated: 04/02/20