The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 require that all swimming pools have a compliant child resistant barrier that restricts access to the swimming pool.
Installation of pool barriers and the display of warning signs are only a part of proper pool safety procedures.
Preventing young children from drowning in swimming pools requires a combination of approaches. While legislation legally requires pool owners to provide a fence or other barriers, supervision of children is critical to ensure tragic accidents are prevented. Remember – children can drown in fenced pools.
Which pools need to be fenced?
Any structure that is:
- capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm, the length of a standard ruler or more
- capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or similar activities needs a fence, unless exempted under the legislation.
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
Why do I need a pool barrier?
Child resistant barriers save lives. As a pool owner, you are required to install a child resistant barrier and have it checked for compliance.
Pool fencing must comply with the requirements of the applicable Australian Standard and are determined by the date your swimming pool is constructed.
Non-compliance of the barrier is the single biggest contributing factor to tragic drowning deaths of young children at home.
The legislation provides us with the authority to:
- require owners to undertake specific fencing work and repairs
- issue fines if a pool fence does not meet legislation requirements.
Our compliance officers, under certain circumstances, may also enter the land and do what is necessary to make the swimming pool fence comply.
Make sure your pool is safe
- Gates must open outwards away from the pool and be self-closing and self-latching from any position
- The pool fence must be kept clear of climbable objects such as toys, bikes, furniture, pot plants and trees
- An internal pool fence must be a minimum of 1.2 metres in height all the way around, and gaps between all vertical rails must be 100mm or less
- Boundary fences must be 1.8 metres high on the pool side of the fence
- Gaps between the bottom of the barrier fence and ground must be 100mm or less
- An authorised resuscitation chart must be affixed and clearly visible in your pool area
- Always keep your fence in good repair and regularly check that they are structurally sturdy, there is no rust and that all gates, doors and window locks are in working condition
- Always leave your filter covered so small children can't get in to it
- Apply for a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance(PDF, 127KB) with Council, to certify that your barrier complies with the applicable Australian Standard, or complete a Pool inspection self assessment checklist that's available on the NSW Swimming Pool Register website.
A secure pool is no substitute for responsible adult supervision
Children in or around the water must be watched at all times. No matter what their swimming ability, children always need to supervised. Training in resuscitation techniques will give adults the skills required for emergency situations.
Ensure your children learn how to swim from an early age.
- Campbelltown Council conducts regular Learn To Swim classes at all of our swimming pools.
- To find out more, contact our Aquatics, Fitness and Indoor Sports team on 02 4645 4915.
Requirements for selling or leasing your property
If you are planning on selling or leasing your property, a Certificate of Compliance to verify that your pool fence complies with pool barrier requirements will be required to be included with contract for sale and lease documentation.
Applications for a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance(PDF, 127KB) can be submitted to Council, and once issued, the Certificate is generally valid for three years.
Where to find more information
If you would like to learn more about the pool safety requirements introduced by the NSW Government please visit the Swimming Pool Register website.
Copies of relevant Australian Standards can be viewed at: