Co-branding Airtasker OneflareCo-branding Airtasker Oneflare
Hero image

Find a local pool and spa builder

    Pool fence regulations in Australia

    Ensure the safety of your family with properly maintained pool fencing

    Alex | Oneflare

    Having a backyard pool is a great way to enjoy the warm weather. All pool owners should be sure that their pool is fenced correctly to ensure the safety of everyone who uses it. Local, state and federal governments have been cracking down on pool safety regulation enforcement. The top way to aid in preventing pool-related injuries is to fence off your pool. This guide discusses some of the guidelines for the fences.

    General pool regulations

    Some general rules for pool fencing that apply to every state throughout Australia are as follows:

    • The fence should be made of a durable material to prevent children from being able to manipulate the fence to gain entrance.
    • The fencing should be well maintained and shouldn’t contain any gaps, damage or holes.
    • The height of the fence should be at least 1.2m in height, when measured from the outside Boundary fences that are part of the pool setup should be at least 1.8m in height.
    • The bottom gap in the fence should be 10cm or less from the ground.
    • The panels shouldn’t have more than a 10-cm gap in between each one of them. This will prevent children from squeezing past the gate. 
    • Pool gates should always open outwards away from the pool area and have to be wholly self-latching and self-closing.
    • Mount the gate’s latch inside the gate, so that a person must reach over if they want to open the gate. Latches on the outside must be at least 1.5m from the ground.
    • The pool should not have any objects like trees, furniture, plants, or pool pumps, that can be climbed on to access the pool. These items must be situated at least 90cm from the pool fence, so children cannot use them to climb over the fence.
    • The walls that comprise the pool fencing must not be able to be accessed from inside the home, unless, in some cases, you do have self-latching doors and child-resistant windows.
    • An inside pool must be fitted with a self-latching, self-closing door that opens to the outside of the pool.

    State by state regulations for the pool

    Generalised rules are enforced throughout Australia, but each state has its own regulations and restrictions. The occupants in the home can endure heavy penalties for not following these rules.

    A pool using both fencing and the house walls as a barrier / Source: Serenity Pool Co

    Queensland pool safety standards

    A new pool safety register was introduced in the state a few years ago. This register lists every pool in the state and has copies of every certificate awarded for pool safety compliance, and lists all of the people licensed to carry out pool inspections. If you a pool, you should be registered. If you’re not, you could be liable to pay a fine of $2,000.

    From December 1st 2010, any rented or lived in house in Queensland needs to have a certificate for pool safety.

    Key safety standards

    These standards apply to all pools, both inside or outside, that are more than 30cm deep when full. Before any pool is filled with water, the fencing needs to be approved. If any part of the property is inside the perimeter of the pool fencing, i.e. if you can access the pool directly from the house, you will need to install fencing stopping this. For indoor pools, child safety doors need to be added to access it.

    New pools

    If a new pool is currently under construction, it will need approval before development starts. Whilst the pool is under construction, temporary fencing is allowed for up to three months. After this period has elapsed, however, permanent fencing needs to be put in place.

    Contact local swimming pool experts

    WA pool safety standards

    The specific pool fencing regulations are slightly different depending on when your pool was built. If your pool was constructed after 5 November 2001, you need to make sure that pool fencing properly restricts access to the pool. Some fencing will have fencing all around the perimeter with a gate leading into it. However, it can still use one of the house walls as one side of the fencing. If the wall has any windows, they have to be correctly locked so that children can’t access the pools.

    If your pool was built before 4 November 2001, it needs to have a fence around it that is well maintained. If the yard has a boundary fence, that can act as part of the fence. The gate to the pool must close and latch on its own, and it should open outwards and away from the pool. There also has to be a fence constructed to separate the pool from the house, and if any doors or windows open to the pool, they have to follow the Australian Standards as well.

    Pools built after 5 November 2001 must not include a door as part of the barrier unless the door is permanently fixed using a device other than a key locking mechanism. Pools built after 1st May 2016 must not use a door as a part of the barrier at all.

    If your pool was approved for construction before 30 June 1992, the WA Government suggests that you have your fencing updated.

    VIC pool safety standards

    In 2010, updates were made to the Building Code of Australia in regards to pool fencing installation. In general, any new swimming pool in the area must have a four-sided fence. In other words, you must fence in your pool, including any spas you have. Any water-based area with more than 300mm when filled must be fenced.

    As of December 2019, you need to complete the following steps to have a private pool in Victoria:

    1. Register your pool with your local council
    2. Organise a registered inspector to inspect your pool barrier 
    3. Rectify any identified issues
    4. Submit to council a certificate of compliance
    Pool fencing can have small gaps as long as they are not larger than regulation size / Source: Cabarita Pools

    NSW pool safety standards

    All pools built after July 2010 must be surrounded by a fence that completely separates the pool from the house. For pools built before July 2010, this regulation also applies but some exemptions could be made for very small properties, very large properties or waterfront properties.

    If you have a door that is part of a pool barrier you must ensure that it closes with manual force, self latches and does not open toward the pool.

    If an old fence or barrier is rebuilt then the most current restrictions apply. Therefore, any previous exemptions placed on the pool when it was built will cease.

    Maintaining your pool fencing

    Once in place, you need to maintain it. This is a requirement that you, as the owner, must meet. This means you cannot have gaps or areas that are damaged that could allow a child to get through. Additionally, all gates and gate latches must operate appropriately at all times. They should have a self-closing and self-latching design on them, and the gates must open outwards. Additionally, you cannot access your pool directly from the house. If you fail to maintain these requirements, there are very hefty fees involved. In some cases, the penalties can be as much as $5,000 or more.

    Other safety measures

    While pool fencing is a must, if you want to ensure the safety of your children, there are other additional measures that you can utilize as well. Swimming pool covers, as well as pool alarms, may prove to be essential for the complete safety and protection of your family. Homeowners with a swimming pool should also invest in pool safety equipment. And once the time to enjoy the pool comes, don’t leave the kids without adult supervision.

    While swimming pools definitely are a lot of fun, you have to be aware of the risks they pose for small kids as well. Drowning accidents can be prevented if you make sure that your pool protection is up to code. Stay safe and enjoy your family pool time to the fullest.

    Facebook LikeTwitter

    How much will your job cost?

    The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.