The Victorian Government has extended the deadline for the mandatory registration of private pools and spas due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. You now have until 1 November 2020 to register your pool or spa with your local council – an extension of five months from the original 1 June deadline.
Why you have to be on the swimming pools register
On 1 December 2019, new Victorian laws came into effect to improve the safety of swimming pools and spas. The new laws introduce registration, inspection and certification requirements for property owners.
As part of the changes, property owners are required by law to register their pools and spas with their local council by 1 November 2020. If you miss the new deadline for registration, you could face a hefty fine of up to $1,652.
According to the Herald Sun, many Victorian homeowners with pools and spas have so far failed to get onto their council’s swimming pools register. For example, in Mornington Peninsula Shire, only 1,600 out of 17,000 pools and spas were registered as of 9 May – less than 10 per cent. In Monash, less than half of the 3,500 pool owners had registered.
Apart from avoiding the hefty fines, registration and pool compliance gives you peace of mind about the safety of your family and guests. A compliant pool or spa barrier is especially important for young children. Tragically, 27 children have drowned in Victorian backyard pools and spas in the past 20 years, and many more are injured. The new laws are designed to keep your family safe.
Who needs to be on the spas and swimming pools register
If you have a swimming pool or spa that is capable of containing more than 30cm of water, then you need to register with your local council, and have a compliant safety barrier.
Barriers are needed for:
- In-ground pools and spas
- Above-ground pools and spas
- Indoor pools and spas; and
- Bathing and wading pools, if they can contain more than 30cm of water.
Pools or spas that cannot contain more than 30cm of water do not need barriers. That is, if you have a small inflatable pool that cannot hold more than 30cm of water, the new safety laws do not apply.
How to register your pool or spa
Go to our website poolbarrierservices.com.au or check your councils website for how to get onto their swimming pools register. You will need to fill out a registration form and pay the registration fee. You will also need to pay an information search fee if your pool or spas was built before 1 November 2020. While fees are set by your local council, they cannot exceed $79, including the information search fee.
If you build a new pool or spa after 1 November 2020, you will have up to 30 days after the issue of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection to register your pool or spa with the council. You will need to lodge the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection with your application for pool registration.
After registration, your local council will send you a written notice to confirm the date for when you’ll need to lodge the certificate of pool compliance, as well as what the applicable barrier standard is for your pool or spa.
After you get registered
After you get onto the local council’s spas and swimming pools register, homeowners must also get a certificate of barrier compliance. The deadlines for inspection and pool compliance depend on when your pool or spa was installed.
The new pool compliance laws require you to get your pool or spa safety barrier inspected and certified every four years. This is to ensure that the pool or spa is compliant with safety standards.
If the inspector finds your safety barrier to be compliant, then they will give you a certificate of barrier compliance. As a homeowner, you must lodge the certificate of barrier compliance with your local council within 30 days.
If an inspector finds your pool or spa barrier to be non-compliant, they will give you a written notice that tells you what must be fixed in order to meet safety requirements. You will then have up to 60 days to make your barrier compliant. The inspector will return to do a re-inspection, confirm that the barrier is compliant, and give you a certificate of compliance for you to lodge with the council.
To avoid the hassle and cost of a re-inspection, it’s a good idea to get a pre-compliance check. This is a consultation service where you can get expert spa and pool fencing regulations advice, BEFORE engaging a registered building surveyor or inspector for the pool compliance certificate.
Ensuring spa and pool compliance will help to keep your loved ones safe. For inspection, certification, and other pool compliance and safety assistance, contact our professional team today. Contact us here.