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We are prioritising critical services and some services may be reduced. This means there will be longer wait times for customers contacting us by phone. Many of our services are available online. Advice on which services can continue is changing rapidly. For regular updates, go to knox.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

3 children in a pool

Swimming Pools and Spas

Enjoying the water is a great Australian pastime, and owning a pool or spa comes with strict safety responsibilities. It is important that you make water safety a priority at home.

Statistics show drowning or near drowning incidents in pools have not reduced across Australia. According to Life Saving Victoria, 40% of fatal drowning incidents of children (0-4 years) occur in home pools. This tragic fact is recognised in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy 2016 – 2020, where a reduction in drowning deaths of young children is one of the three areas noted as highest priority.

Keep your home and family safe by ensuring your safety barrier is properly installed, adequately maintained and fully compliant to Australian standards.

New safety standards for Swimming Pools and Spas



The Victorian Government has introduced new safety standards from 1 December 2019, in an effort to prevent drownings of young children in home pools by improving the maintenance process of safety barriers.

Under the new safety standards, all pool and spa owners are required to Register their swimming pool or spa with Council by 1 June 2020 and have their safety barrier inspected and certified every four years.

STEP 1: Register your Swimming Pool or Spa

Register your pool or spa with Knox Council by 1 June 2020, and pay the lodgement fee of $79.00.

The lodgement fee includes the pool or spa registration fee of $31.80, and the information search fee of $47.20. The information search fee enables Council to conduct the required searches to determine the date of construction of your pool or spa which defines the applicable safety barrier standard.


Register your Pool or Spa Online


You are not required to be a 'Registered User' for Knox Online Services to register your pool or spa online.

Can't register online? Contact our Building Services Team on 9298 8125.

Need help?

Council is aware that the timing of the registration requirements comes at a tough time with the escalation of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Whilst the timeframe and costs for registration are set by the State Government, Council does understand that the current situation is causing concern and hardship for many people.

Registering your swimming pool or spa is an important safety step and penalties may apply if you do not register by 1 June 2020. If your financial situation has changed and you think that you may have difficulty paying the required lodgement fee at the time of registration, you can choose to defer payment of the registration fee for a period of 6 months, until 30 November 2020.

Simply apply to register your pool or spa online using the link above and select the 'Pay Later' option when prompted.

What happens next?

Once you have registered your pool, Council will confirm in writing:

  • The date of construction of your pool/spa
  • The safety barrier standards you must meet (which is based on the date of construction of your pool/spa)
  • When you must lodge your first certificate of compliance with Council

STEP 2: Have your pool or spa barrier inspected

You are required to arrange for an inspection of your pool or spa barrier every four years, to obtain a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance, certifying that your pool or spa complies with the relevant safety standard.

Inspections can be carried out by a Registered Building Inspector or a Registered Building Surveyor.

The inspection may be approved right away, or minor non-compliant items may be noted by the inspector, which must be must be fixed and re-inspected. If minor non-compliant items are not rectified, or if there are major non-compliant items found, the inspector may issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-compliance which is referred directly to Council for follow up and incurs a fee to the owner of $385.10.

Building Practitioners can lodge a Certificate of Non Compliance with Council, using the button below. You must be registered for online services to lodge a Certificate of Non Compliance.


Lodge a Certificate of Non Compliance for a Pool and Spa Barrier

STEP 3: Lodge your Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance

A Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance will be issued by the Building Inspector once satisfied that the barrier is compliant. This must be lodged with Knox Council within 30 days of the date listed on the Certificate.

A lodgement fee of $20.40 applies to lodge a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance.

Following Registration, Council will notify you of the date you need to lodge your first Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance.


Lodge my Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance

Date when pool and/or spa constructed Certificate of compliance lodgement date
On or before 30 June 1994 1 June 2021
From 1 July 1994 to 30 April 2010 1 June 2022
From 1 May 2010 to 1 May 2020 1 June 2023

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I need a pool and spa barrier?

Pool and spa barriers saves lives. As a pool or spa owner, you are required to install a safety barrier and have it checked for compliance. Non-compliance of the safety barrier is the single biggest contributing factor to tragic drowning deaths of young children at home.

The most common issues of non-compliance of the safety barrier are: faulty fence or gate; lack of fences and; gates propped open

Do all pools and spas need to be registered?

All swimming pools and spas on residential properties in Victoria with a depth greater than 30cm are required to be registered and enclosed by a compliant safety barrier. This includes bathing pools, wading pools, inflatable pools, above-ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs and jacuzzis which are capable of holding more than 30cm of water.

Are there any exemptions?

Temporarily erected children's paddling pools not capable of holding a depth of water of more than 30cm and domestic baths, which are emptied after each use, are exempt. However, strict supervision should be shown at all times where water and children are concerned.

Bird baths, fish ponds, fountains, dams and the like which are not intended for swimming are not included in these regulations, and are exempt.

I have special circumstances that prevent me from registering my pool and/or spa by 1 June 2020, what should I do?

Registering your swimming pool or spa is an important safety step and remains a legislative requirement for all pool and spa owners.

If your financial situation has changed and you think that you may have difficulty paying the required lodgement fee at the time of registration, you can choose to defer payment of the registration fee for a period of 6 months, until 30 November 2020. Simply apply to register your pool or spa online using the link below and select the 'Pay Later' option when prompted.


Register your Pool or Spa Online


Non-registration of a pool and spa by 1 June 2020 will incur a fine of approximately $330.

If there are any other special circumstances which may prevent you from registering your pool or spa, please contact our Building Services team.

What happens if I do not apply to register my pool or spa by 1 June 2020?

If you do not apply to register your pool and/or spa by 1 June 2020, you will incur an on the spot fine of $330.40. A maximum penalty of $1,652.20 applies for failure to register within the relevant timeframe, so we highly encourage you to register on time to avoid being fined.

When do I need to lodge my first Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety?

After you have registered your pool or spa with Knox Council, we will notify you of the date required to lodge your first certificate of compliance. The lodgement date of your first certificate depends on when your pool or spa was constructed:

Who inspects my pool or spa barrier?

You will need to engage a Registered Building Inspector or Registered Building Surveyor to undertake your pool or spa barrier inspection. Some Inspectors and Surveyors specialise in swimming pool or spa barriers. A quick google search for a registered pool inspector in Victoria will help you find a suitable building practitioner.

What if my pool/spa has been removed?

If you have removed your pool/spa, please let us know by completing the following online request:


My Pool/Spa has been Removed


Where can I find more information about the new pool and spa safety standards?

If you would like to learn more about the new pool and spa safety requirements introduced by the Victorian Government please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

I have other queries about Knox Council’s pool and spa registry, who should I contact?

Our Building Services team are available to help you with your queries.


Contact Building Services about a Pool or Spa

Building Permits for New Swimming Pool and Spa Barriers

Before constructing a swimming pool or spa, you will need to obtain a Building Permit from a registered Building Surveyor. A Building Permit is also required for carrying out alterations to an existing safety barrier.

If undertaking maintenance to an existing safety barrier (eg: replacement of a part like for like) a Building Permit is not required.

During construction, a temporary safety barrier must be in place and maintained at all times until the permanent barrier is installed.

Victorian Safety Barrier Legislation

The applicable legislation for all new and existing swimming pool and spa safety barriers is determined by the date your swimming pool or spa is constructed:

  • Constructed before 8 April 1991: must comply with Part 9A, Division 2 of the Building Regulations 2018
  • Constructed from 8 April 1991 to 31 October 1994: must comply with Australian Standard AS 1926.1 – 1986 Amendment 1
  • Constructed from 1 November 1994 to 30 April 2010: must comply with Australian Standard AS 1926.1-1993
  • Constructed from 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2013: must comply with Australian Standard AS1926.1-2007
  • Constructed after 1 May 2013: must comply with Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012

Resources

An overview of the pool fencing laws and drowning prevention is also available from Kid Safe Victoria.

This information is to be used as a guide for property owners to self-assess pool safety and does not guarantee a compliant safety barrier.

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