Swimming Pools, Spas, Safety Barriers and Registration Requirements

All swimming pools and spas capable of containing water greater than 300mm (30cm) deep, must be registered with Council and have a compliant safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by children under the age of five (this requirement excludes indoor spa baths that are emptied after each use).

Property owners were required to have registered their swimming pools and spas with Council by 1 November 2020 advising the type of swimming pool or spa, installation/construction date and any alterations to the safety barrier.  A registration fee of $32.30 applies. For pools constructed prior to 1 November 2020 a search fee of $47.95 also applies. If you have not registered your swimming pool or spa by the due date, penalties in the form of a $363.48 infringement or a $1817.40 fine can apply

Register your pool online

Read registration instructions(PDF, 461KB)

Alternatively you can download and print the registration form(PDF, 170KB) and submit it to Council.

Any swimming pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 300mm (30cm) that is used, designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like (including a bathing or wading pools) must be registered with Council by 1 November 2020.

This includes

  • Inground swimming pools
  • Inground spas
  • Above ground swimming pools
  • Above ground spas
  • Inflatable pools
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Indoor spas
  • Paddling and wading pools
  • Spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas (including portable spas).

This does not include

  • Structures or bodies such as bird baths, fish ponds, fountains
  • Spa baths inside a building that are used for personal hygiene which are emptied following use
  • Inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm (30cm)
  • Water supply/storage tanks
  • Dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.

Owners of properties with a swimming pool and/or spa are legally obliged to ensure that they maintain and repair their swimming pool and/or spa safety barriers to reduce the risk of unsupervised children gaining access to the pool.

Occupiers (tenants) must also ensure that safety barriers are kept closed at all times, except while entering or exiting the pool and/or spa area.

Children should be actively supervised by an adult in and around swimming pools and spas, even when safety barriers are in place.

Step 1. Register your pool/spa advising construction date and any alterations to the pool’s safety barrier by 1 November 2020.

Step 2. Council will write to you to confirm that your registration is accepted and advise:

  • the rules applicable to your swimming pool and/or spa safety barrier based on the information you provide.
  • the final date by which you will be required to have lodged a Certificate of Pool Barrier Compliance.
  • when your pool safety barrier must be inspected.

Step 3. Arrange for a registered Building Surveyor or Building Inspector (Barrier Inspector) to inspect and certify that your pool safety barrier complies with the applicable standard. The requirements vary depending on when the swimming pool or spa was constructed or installed. 

Step 4. Lodge a copy of your Certificate of Barrier Compliance with Council by the agreed date.

Council will maintain the register of swimming pools and spas within the municipality through owner registrations, maintaining and reviewing existing Council records and, where possible, reviewing aerial photography to ensure the database is up to date.

  • Existing swimming pools and spas must be registered with Council by 1 November 2020. 
  • New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.
  • A relocatable swimming pool or spa if erected for more than three consecutive days, must be registered:
  1. By 4 November 2020, if the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was erected three or more days before 1 November 2020 and remains erected on 1 November 2020, or
  2. By the fourth day after the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was erected in any other case.

The Building Control Services Fee Schedule(PDF, 164KB) sets out all fees for Council's Building Control Services Department, including swimming pool fees.

 A summary of fees relating to registering your pool or spa is provided below.

  • Registering your pool or Spa (compulsory at registration) – 2.15 Fee Units
  • Search fee (compulsory at registration) – 3.19 Fee Units
  • Total Registration Fees – 2.15 + 3.19 = 5.34 Fee Units
  • Have your pool safety barrier/s inspected and certified by a registered Building Surveyor or Building Inspector (This price will vary depending on the inspection service providers)
  • Lodging a Certificate of Barrier with Council – 1.38 Fee Units
  • Lodging a Certificate of Barrier Non-Compliance with Council – 26 Fee Units

Go to the Department of Treasury and Finance website for more information.

Additional information 
  • The fees for registration and the lodging of certificates with Council are set by the Victoria Parliament through legislative processes and are subject to the annual CPI increase.
  • The fees and costs associated with the inspection and certification of pool safety barriers will vary according to the individual Barrier Inspector you engage and according to your particular circumstances.

Go to  the VBA website for more information.

 Penalties apply for failing to register your pool/spa or for failing to maintain a compliant safety barrier.

  • Failing to register your pool/spa – 10 penalty units
  • Failure to lodge a Certificate of barrier compliance with Council – 10 Penalty Units
  • Failure to lodge a Certificate of Barrier Non-Compliance with Council – 10 penalty units
  • Failure to maintain the safety barrier, and while in use – 50 Penalty Units

Go to the Department of Justice and Regulation website for more information on penalty units including current prices per unit.

What are the rules around swimming pool safety barriers? 

Swimming pools and spas are required to be protected with a safety barrier that complies with the Building Regulations 2018. Safety barriers include fences, walls, windows, doors, screens, gates and other permanent elements that prevent access by children to the pool or spa area.

An application for a building permit can be made to either a registered Private Building Surveyor or to Council’s Municipal Building Surveyor.  You will need to obtain a building permit before constructing a safety barrier which complies with the relevant building regulations.

Is my existing pool or spa barrier legal?

If you already have a pool or spa As a pool or spa owner, you have an obligation to maintain the operation of your swimming pool or spa barrier to prevent access to the pool or spa.

The following checklists will help you assess the safety/compliance of your barrier. The checklists are based on the relevant barrier standard associated with the date that the pool or spa was installed.

Checklist 1 (for pools and spas installed before 8 April 1991)

Checklist 2 (for pools and spas installed between 8 April 1991 and 30 April 2010)

Checklist 3 (for pools and spas installed from 1 May 2010)

If you are having any work done on an existing safety barrier, a permit may need to be issued to alter the barrier. Work to alter an existing barrier will need to comply with the current Regulations. Check with your local council or building surveyor for advice.


Do I have to install a safety barrier around my swimming pool or spa?

Yes, all swimming pools and spas having a depth of more than 300mm (30cm) must be completely enclosed within a safety barrier. Drowning is the most common cause of preventable death for children under five in Victoria. Safety barriers reduce the risk of child injury and drownings.

Do I have to get a building permit for my safety barrier before it is installed?

Yes, a building permit is required to be issued before you install a new swimming pool or spa and required safety barrier, or before you carry out any alterations to an existing safety barrier.

Do I need a building permit and safety barrier to install an above ground or inflatable pool or spa?

All swimming pool and spas capable of more than 300mm (30cm) water depth require a safety barrier to be installed. If the swimming pool or spa is less than 300mm (30cm) deep or located inside a building (e.g. in a bathroom) and used for personal hygiene and emptied after each use, a building permit and safety barrier are not required.

What happens if I don't do anything about pool safety?

Council Building Surveyors do conduct routine audits of swimming pool and spa safety barriers. If a complying safety barrier is not maintained around your swimming pool or spa, significant penalties can apply.

Learn more about pool safety barrier legislation on the Victorian Building Authority website and the Victorian Government Legislation website

Relocatable Pool Safety Barriers

A building permit is not required for relocatable pool safety barriers around a relocatable swimming pool or spa (Item 21 of Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018). 

Even though such a barrier may be exempt from the requirement for a building permit, a relocatable pool safety barrier is still required to comply with the Australian Standard for Pool Safety Barriers (AS1926.1-2012) in all respects.

Hume City Council’s Building Surveyors are not aware of any products or systems currently on the market that are accredited under the Building Act 1993 by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee, or any other approved accreditation scheme, as complying entirely with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and AS1926.1-2012.

The BCA and AS1926.1-2012 form part of the Building Regulations 2018. Owners of relocatable swimming pools or spas must make their own inquiries in order to determine and confirm whether a relocatable pool safety barrier product or system complies with these regulations.

To meet the exemption from the requirement for a building permit for a relocatable pool safety barrier, the product or system you are using must:

  • be designed to be relocatable
  • be able to be reasonably and practically relocated
  • comply with AS1926.1-2012 in all relevant respects.

As a general rule, a building permit is required for the construction or installation of a pool safety barrier or fence.

Owners of relocatable swimming pools or spas are subject to all of the relevant provisions of Part 9A of the Building Regulations 2018, including the requirement to ensure that a compliant pool safety barrier is in place, whether or not the barrier is relocatable. 

A relocatable swimming pool or spa must also be registered with Council by 1 November 2020 and a certificate of barrier compliance lodged with the Council starting 1 June 2021, depending on the age of the swimming pool and/or spa.

New property owners

If you are considering the purchase a property with a swimming pool or spa, you should make inquiries to ensure the safety barrier complies with the Building Regulations. Be aware that as the new owner of a property, you accept responsibility for ensuring that the safety barrier complies and is maintained. If you own or are considering the purchase of a property with a swimming pool or spa, and you are not sure whether the safety barrier complies, you should engage the expert advice of a registered Building Surveyor or Building Inspector.

Owners are required to have their pool safety barriers inspected by a registered Building Surveyor or Building Inspector and certified as being in a safe state of compliance by a due date determined by the date of construction of the pool or spa.  

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government has extended the due date for Certificates of Barrier Compliance lodgement. 

Deadlines for inspection and compliance certificate lodgement
Date of pool/spa construction Compliance certificate due date

On or before 30 June 1994

1 June 2022

From 1 July 1994 to 1 May 2010

1 June 2023

From 1 May 2010

1 June 2024