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Swimming pools and spas in Victoria must comply with certain requirements

09 Jul 2018 | Saba Elahii

Victoria has strict building requirements in place for design, construction and installation of spas, swimming pool and also their safety barriers (refer to Building Regulations 2018).
It is very important that home owners be aware of their legal obligations to maintain their pool/spa safety barriers at all times.

Following requirement must be met regarding spas and swimming pools all over Victoria:

  • Pools and spas holding 30 cm and more of water must have a safety fence or barrier.
  • Safety barriers must be a minimum of 1.2 meters high.
  • Barrier gates must be self-closing and self-latching, and should never be propped open.
  • Outdoor pools and spas must not have direct access to the pool area via a door from a building.
  • Safety barriers should be clear frim any object that children can use to climb into the pool or spa area.
  • Inflatable pools holding 30 cm or more of water require the same safety standards as all other pools and spas.

Our inspectors in Australian Property and Building Inspection will examine your pool/ spa against the VBA's checklist to make sure you are meeting your legal obligations before, during and after construction, and more importantly keeping your family safe around the pool area.


Swimming Pool, Spa and Barrier Building Permits

Any construction of spa or swimming pool and associated safety barriers can be done by an owner-builder or registered builder who has achieved a certificate of consent from the Victorian Building Authority.
Any work of $10,000 and more (for labour and material) needs to engage a register builder under a written domestic building contract; it is $16,000 and more for an owner-builder who must obtain a certificate of consent.
Spa or pool building permits (issued by a registered building surveyor) must have details of the safety barrier included and be issued as one permit. Such permit is required even if the constructor just builds or installs the pool or spa and won't proceed with installing associated barriers. This excludes temporary inflatable pools or portable spas each time they are erected; however, they will still require a permanent compliant barrier for which a building permit is required.
The newly constructed pool or spa should not be used until permanent safety barriers, such as fences, are installed and certificate of final inspection is obtained from the relevant building surveyor. If you don't comply, not only you risk the lives of family and friends, but you may also be committing a breach of the Building Act, which carries fines. You can make sure the house you are planning to invest or live in is safe for families, and especially kids, by hiring a professional inspector to examine the pool and spa, and receiving a comprehensive written report back.
Please read more here, on VBA requirements for pools, spas and the associated barrier, and also for the process of building permit application.