All swimming pools and spas in Victoria capable of holding more than 300mm of water must have well maintained safety barriers around them. A swimming pool is defined as any excavation or structure containing water and used principally for swimming, wading or paddling, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa.
A dam on a rural property, water tanks, streams, rivers and ornamental ponds or fountains are not defined as swimming pools or spas. Temporary swimming pools (wading pools, toddler pools, inflatable pools and spas) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm do not require safety barriers but should be emptied after each use. Latrobe City Council’s building surveyors will carry out random audits on safety barriers.
A barrier can be a fence, wall, screen or gate. Gates and doors must self-close and latch, window openings restricted or fitted with secure screens. You can use the self assessment sheet.
The Municipal Building Surveyor can act against people who fail to provide adequate, or maintain existing, safety barriers. Penalties may apply.
Always watch young children around water.
Do I need a safety barrier?
Permanent safety barriers are required for all permanent or relocatable pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300 mm, including:
- In-ground swimming pools
- Above-ground swimming pools
- Hot tubs and Jacuzzis
- Indoor swimming pools
- Inflatable and relocatable pools
Note: A lockable lid on a spa is not a compliant safety barrier.
Do I need a building permit to install a safety barrier?
A building permit is required to install or alter a swimming pool and spa safety barrier. For more information see our section on Building Permits.
How can I check if my safety barrier is compliant?
While there will be stricter laws on managing swimming pool and spa compliance, the requirement to have safety barriers has not changed.
You should engage a private building surveyor or inspector to do an inspection of the existing permanent safety barrier and provide a report on the level of compliance achieved. Regulations that apply to permanent safety barriers for existing swimming pools and spas can vary depending on the year the pool or spa was built.
Safety barrier maintenance
Swimming pool and spa owners have legal obligations to maintain their safety barriers at all times. Non-compliance, for any reason, can increase the risk of drowning and lead to prosecution.
New Registration Requirements for Owners of Pools and Spas
Introduced 1 December 2019.
The new laws by the Victorian Government to require:
- Mandatory registration of swimming pools and spas
- A new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety
The primary objective of the new regulations is to reduce incidences of young children drowning in private swimming pools and spas through improving compliance with safety barrier requirements.
For more information about the new state government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority Swimming pools, spas and safety barriers page
What is Required
- Register your pool or spa with us (this applies to both permanent and relocatable pools and spas).
- Have your safety barrier inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or inspector.
- Lodge your certificate with Council.
- Renew your certificate every 4 years to show that your barrier continues to meets legal requirements.
Council will be tasked to ensure all affected property owners comply with the new requirements with penalties for non-compliance.
Once you register your pool or spa, we will write you to explain which safety barrier standards apply to you. There are different standards for your pool or spa depending on when it was built.
Owners will then be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect and certify the compliance of their safety barrier every four years.
Registration and Inspection Timelines
Pool and spa owners must register by 1 June 2020. Failure to do so before this date may result in a fine, as it is now a legal requirement.
We will advise you of the inspection and certification timelines that apply to your pool or spa after you register. Like the safety standards, different timelines apply based on the date your pool or spa was built.
A one-off administration fee of $79 has been set by the Victorian Government to register your pool or spa. Additional fees will also apply to have your pool or spa inspected (around $200 to $500) and to lodge your certificate ($20.50).
Register a pool or spa
Registrations are now open
There is a one-off registration fee of $79.00 set by the Victorian Government.
Register you pool or spa online below:
Alternatively you can register your pool or spa using the hard copy
- Lodge in person at any of our Service Centres, or
- Lodge by mail to:
Latrobe City Council
Attention: Building Services
PO Box 264
MORWELL, VIC 3840
- You will need to include a cheque with your completed form. For privacy reasons, we don’t accept credit card payments in the mail.
Under new Victorian Regulations, all swimming pools and spas must be registered with local councils.
- You need to register your pool or spa with us before 1 June 2020.
- Once your pool or spa is registered, you'll need to organise an inspection of your safety barrier.
- After the inspection, lodge your certificate with us to show that your barrier is safe.
- You'll need to have your safety barrier inspected and certified every 4 years.
- The Victorian Government has introduced new regulations for pools and spas to prevent children from drowning.