Tough legislation for swimming pool fences—don’t get caught out

Tough pool fencing regulations are making waves throughout Australia and you need to know about the nation-wide tightening of existing pool fence laws.

Swimming Pool Fences

Swimming pools and spa pools are part of the Australian way of life and our love affair with water. The backyard pool or spa is where we chill out with friends and family, get some exercise or watch the children playing. Swimming pools and spas also add value to the property.

You may also be aware that drowning is the leading cause of preventable death for children aged 0-5 years old in Australia—26 children drowned last year alone. According to the Australian Royal Life Saving Society more than 50% of these needless deaths occurred in residential swimming pools.

This is why tough pool fencing regulations are making waves once again throughout Australia and you need to know about them. These are part of a nation-wide tightening and consolidation of existing pool fence laws although there may be small differences in the details State by State.

What do you need to know?

Essentially:

  • All swimming pools including portable pools and spa pools with a water depth of more than 300 mm must be registered on the State-based register.
  • From 29th April 2016, NSW residential properties with a swimming pool or spa pool must have a certificate of compliance, a certificate of non-compliance or an occupation certificate for the pool barrier/fencing before the property can be leased or sold. In Queensland for example, this requirement needed to be met by 30th November 2015.
  • It is possible to sell a property with a non-compliant pool providing a certificate of non-compliance is attached to the contract of sale. The new owner has 90 days from settlement to rectify the faults noted in the certificate and obtain a certificate of compliance.
  • Certificates require renewal every three years. Inspections may be carried out by council inspectors or private approved agencies.
  • Child-resistant doors are to be phased out and replaced by self-closing doors and automatic latching systems out of the reach of children.

The fines for non-compliance are steep ranging from on the spot fines of $250 to non-compliance penalties of $5500.

What do you need to do?

Pool fencing laws are complex and the requirements vary according to the date the pool was built and approved but many pool barriers are failing to meet the standards because of one or more of the following:

  • Incorrect dimensions (including height, gaps between palings, and distance from climbable objects)
  • Incorrect type and placement of latching or self-closing mechanisms
  • Distance from the house or climbable boundary walls (including climbable objects on the neighbouring property)

It’s important that you get your new pool security fence designed and built by the experts who know fencing inside and out. Profence is part of the Protective Group, a leading Australian manufacturer and supplier of fencing products throughout Australia, Asia, and the Pacific region.

04/05/2016

Further reading:

SWIMMING POOL FENCING & SAFETY BARRIERS

Swimming Pool fencing and safety laws and the state government requirements are complex and the requirements vary according to the state were you reside, for more helpful information on the key pool safety requirements in Australian states and territories view our links and resources page here.