The state of Victoria has pretty stringent Regulations on residential pool and spa safety that every homeowner must observe when constructing their pool. These requirements must adhere to the regulations set in the Building Regulations 2018. Before you proceed with design and construction, it is imperative that you obtain approvals from the relevant authorities to ensure that you are on the right course.

These regulations have been designed to make your pool or spa safe for your kids. One of the key regulations is the installation of pool or spa safety barriers. There are other requirements that you will have to satisfy in order to build a fully-compliant swimming pool for your premises. Non-compliance may expose you to the risk of prosecution but it also a safety risk to some of the most vulnerable members of your household such as kids and pets.

Here is an overview of the pool or spa safety regulations in Melbourne.


Safety barrier

It is one of the core requirements during a pool or spa construction. If water in the spa or swimming pool has depth of more than 30cm, the Regulations demand that you must construct a safety barrier. This covers various kinds of pools and spas:

  • The indoor pools and spas
  • In ground and above-ground swimming pools and spas
  • Pools or spas that are inflatable
  • Paddling pools and wading pools

There are further requirements when it comes to the construction of safety barriers. The construction must be done either by an owner-builder or a registered builder. If you are an owner and planning to go the DIY route, you have to obtain the certificate of consent which is issued by the Building Practitioners Board. The safety barrier designs must also be approved before they are constructed. You must also obtain a building permit before proceeding with the construction. You will need to provide designs for the fence that satisfy the Australian Standard when applying for the building permit. The building permit application can be sent to the municipal building surveyor in your local council.


Safety Barrier Height

Another important consideration to keep in mind is the spa or pool safety barrier height. The Regulations require that it be at least 1.2m high.


Gaps in the Safety Barrier

The gaps in the pool or spa safety barrier should not be more than 10cm. The gap between the pool fence and the ground shouldn’t also be more than 10cm. This is done as a precaution to protect babies from accessing the pool area and potentially drowning in the pool.


Pool or Spa Gate

The pool or spa gate must be designed in such a way that it closes and latches automatically. The gate should always remain closed at all times and the design should be such that it swings outwards.


Clear fence area

The area around the safety barriers should be clear and should not contain any objects or structures that kids might use to climb into the pool area. Objects such as pot plants, barbecues, trees or benches should not be placed close to the pool fence.


Safety barrier maintenance

The safety barrier must be maintained at all times to ensure it is in excellent shape. If you are renting your property, the maintenance work will be the responsibility of the landlord so make sure you inform them in time in case you notice any issues with the spa or pool fence.

Need help in ensuring the safety of your pool or spa? Talk to a licensed pool builder who can help you construct a safe and fully compliant pool to meet your requirements.