Swimming Pools and Fences in Australia

Swimming Pools in Australia

The New South Wales Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012 requires all homeowners to register their pools online by 29 October 2013, or face paying a fine.

Buying a Swimming Pool

My first advice, before buying or even getting quotations for installing a swimming pool, is to talk to your local pool shop.

They are the people you will be going to for future supplies and advice. It will help if they deal with the manufacturers/suppliers of the equipment that you have installed, (Pumps/Filters/etc)

Swimming Pool Fencing rules
    In most Australian States, every Swimming Pool needs fully compliant safety fencing.

There may be different rules for swimming pools built between certain dates, and I am aware of such a ruling in QLD for pools built before 1991.

However they still require suitable fencing, and self closing doors or gates leading to the pool area.

More details can be found at the following links:

The following are examples of some of the reasons commonly given for safety fence breaches:

    • A pool fence is not needed if there are no children living in the house.
    • Pool fencing can be removed if a home has self-closing doors.
    • Spas and swimming pools do not need to be fenced if they have a lockable cover.

NONE of the above are actually correct though.

Penalties for Unfenced Swimming Pools
  • QLD: Penalties of up to $12,375 and on-the-spot fines of up to $525 can be imposed on pool owners if their pool fence does not comply with the law
    Information to follow
  • If your pool was built before 1 August 1990 then you do not have to have a swimming pool fence as such, but the pool MUST be isolated from access from the street or from adjoining properties.
  • If your pool was built after 1 August 1990, then you are required to have a child resistant pool fence that complies with Australian Standard 1926-1986 Fences and Gates for Swimming Pools. You should contact your council for further information on these standards.
    Wading Pools
    • The Swimming Pool Act requires any pool or pond with a depth greater than 300mm to be fenced. Development consent is required for any pool requiring fencing
  • Pool fencing laws require pool owners to construct and maintain a fence around their swimming pool regardless of when the pool was installed.
  • For in-ground pools, the pool owner is generally the owner of the land.
  • If a person renting a property buys a portable pool that requires fencing, they are considered to be the pool owner and must ensure the pool is fenced.
  • Swimming pool means an excavation or structure capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 mm or more.
  • This includes spa pools, spa tubs or similar things (whether portable or fixed) and wading pools (other than portable wading pools).
  • A swimming pool does not include a portable wading pool.
  • Portable wading pools do not need to be fenced if they hold no more than 2000 litres of water that is less than 450 mm deep and have no filtration system.
  • All other portable wading pools require a fence.
A portable wading pool is defined as:

From 2010 fencing will be required for all portable pools deeper than 300 millimetres.

    An outdoor spa, even with a lockable cover, meets the definition of a swimming pool and as such requires a development approval for building work and a complying pool fence.
South Australia
    Information to follow
    Information to follow
    Information to follow
Western Australia
Wading pool
    • If the portable wading pool is not more than 300mm deep it does not fit the definition of a swimming pool under the Act.
    • As soon as the depth exceeds 300mm a barrier compliant to the Legislation will need to be installed.
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I am currently researching the regulations regarding pool fences in NSW.

My pool was built early 1980.

It has a fence, but after reading your article I am wondering if the fence needs to comply, given that you state pools built prior to 1 Aug 1990 don’t even need a fence.

I am particularly interested to know where you found this information and hope you can direct me to the source so I can research it further




If your pool was built before 1 August 1990 then you do not have to have a swimming pool fence as such, but the pool MUST be isolated from access from the street or from adjoining properties.


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