Your responsibilities as a pool owner have changed
The NSW State Government has introduced changes to swimming pool laws, aimed at reducing the incidence of children drowning in backyard pools.
As a swimming pool owner you are responsible for ensuring your pool is enclosed with a child safe barrier and access to it is restricted to children at all times. You are also responsible for ensuring it is maintained and that it complies with relevant Australian Standards and laws.
The purpose of the new laws is to promote the need for regular checks and maintenance of pool safety barriers such as fencing.
Summary of changes to the Act
Overview of the State Government's changes to the Swimming Pools Act
Swimming pool owners:
- are required to register their pools on a state wide Swimming Pool Register
- are required to self-assess and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their pool complies with the applicable standard
- will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before selling or leasing a property with a pool from 29 April 2014 and a Certificate of Compliance - Swimming Pools can be obtained by making an application to Council.
- *A penalty of $220 can be given to owners who fail to register a swimming pool.
- are required to inspect registered pools before issuing a compliance certificate, which is valid for up to 3 years from the date of its issue.
For further detailed information regarding recent changes to the Swimming Pools Act and requirements refer to the Department of Local Government's Swimming Pools and Spas information website.
Registering your pool
All swimming pool owners in New South Wales were required to register their swimming pool or spa on the NSW Swimming Pool Register by 19 November 2013 to avoid receiving a $220 penalty as provided for under the Act.
If you have not yet registered please do so as soon as possible, or alternatively Council can register your pool on your behalf for a $10 fee.
Note: The new provisions also apply to "temporary" and portable swimming pools capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300mm.
There are two ways you can register your pool:
- Register online (no cost)
- or Complete a Self-Assessment Checklist and Registration form and bring them in to Council during business hours, and we'll register your pool on your behalf ($10 fee applies).
Please call us on 02 6827 1900 if you would like more information about this service.
Ensure your pool complies
Coonamble Shire Council, in line with the changes to the Swimming Pools Act and requirements have commenced a swimming pool inspection program to encourage pool owners to ensure their child safe barrier complies with relevant requirements. Accordingly, we recommend that you regularly undertake a preliminary self-check of your pool safety barrier and rectify any obvious problems.
Fact sheet and checklist
The NSW State Government has prepared a Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklist and a Swimming Pools Laws fact sheet to assist pool owners with the self-assessment and registration process.
Royal Life Saving NSW Fact Sheets
Royal Lifesaving NSW has commenced an education campaign to assist everyone in understanding their responsibilities in relation to registration and compliance. For your convenience, the links to the fact sheets can be found on the bottom of this page.
Pool Barrier Exemptions
Between 1 August 1992 to 30 June 2010, the Swimming Pools Act 1992 provided an alternative to the general requirements regarding the location of pool child-resistant barriers. These are referred to as exemptions.
These exemptions apply to the following pools, so long as the means of access to the pool are at all times restricted in accordance with the exemption:
- pools constructed prior to 1 August 1990
- pools on waterfront properties constructed before 1 July 2010
- pools on properties having an area less than 230m², constructed before 1 July 2010
- pools on properties having an area of 2ha or more, constructed before 1 July 2010.
These exemptions do not apply for the life of the pool and some owners may have to upgrade their pool barrier to comply with current standards.
The exemption no longer applies where:
- access to the pool or pool barrier is substantially altered or rebuilt
- restricted access to a pool or pool barrier is not provided
- restricted access to a pool or pool barrier is not maintained or does not comply
- when pools exempt are fenced voluntarily
Royal Life Saving NSW Fact Sheet
Fact-Sheet 2 Supervision (407 KB)
Fact-Sheet 3 Restrict Access (338 KB)
Fact-Sheet 4 Water Awareness (546 KB)
Fact-Sheet 5 Resuscitation (371 KB)