Swimming pool safety

Legislation requires pool owners to provide a fence or barrier to pools and spas, display a resuscitation notice and register their pools on line at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au. However this is only part of proper pool safety procedures. Supervision of children is essential to ensure tragic accidents are prevented. Remember - children can drown in fenced pools.

Pool fencing legislation

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 require all swimming pools to have an appropriate child resistant barrier that restricts access between the home and the swimming pool. Any pool capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300mm requires a fence. This includes a number of portable or inflatable pools that can be purchased from department stores. An exemption exists for spa pools provided they have a lockable child safe cover that is in position at all times when the spa is not in actual use.

Pool owners must:

  1. Register your pool for free with the NSW Swimming Pool Register if it isn't already registered. This includes spa pools and portable pools capable of holding water to a depth greater than 300mm.
  2. Make sure your child-resistant barrier meets the requirements of Australian Standard 1926.1 "Fences and Gates for Private Swimming Pools". Check that yours does with the help of the NSW Swimming Pool Register checklist.
  3. Pool owners must obtain a certificate of compliance or certificate of non-compliance from Clarence Valley Council before the sale or lease of their property. The certificate of non compliance enables the vendor to transfer the obligation of obtaining a certificate of compliance to the purchaser, who will then have 90 days from settlement to upgrade the pool barrier and obtain a certificate of compliance.
  4. A recently installed swimming pool with an occupation certificate is exempt from the inspection program and need for a Compliance Certificate for three years from the date of the occupation certificate.
  5. Properties with more than two (2) dwellings are exempt from the requirement to provide a compliant pool barrier on sale or lease, as they are already regulated through mandatory 3-yearly council inspections.

Register your pool 

Apply for a swimming pool Certificate of Compliance

Penalties

On-the-spot fines of:

  • $550 apply for not properly fencing a pool,
  • $220 apply for not registering a pool,
  • $110 apply if resuscitation poster is not displayed,
  • $1500 apply if there is no development consent (applies to pools with over 2000 litre capacity).