Swimming pools and spas

Pool safety standard

The Queensland Government has introduced pool safety laws to reduce drowning and serious immersion injuries in swimming pools and spas.

From 1 December 2015, it is mandatory that all pools in Queensland - including spas (portable and fixed) and portable pools - comply with the pool safety standard. The pool safety standard for Queensland, the Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 3.4, is to be read in conjunction with AS1926.1.   The standard covers such things as the height and strength of barriers, mandatory non-climbable zones, gates and their latching requirements and preventing direct access from a building into a pool area.  Fines apply for non-compliance.

Wading pools

Some inflatable wading pools are also subject to State regulation.  An inflatable wading pool is classified as a "regulated swimming pool":

  • if it can be filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more; or
  • it holds more than 2,000 litres of water; or
  • it has a filtration system.

Council receives dozens of complaints each year about inflatable wading pools and in most cases the owners are ordered to empty and remove the pool.

If you are thinking of purchasing a wading pool and are uncertain of your obligations please contact Council on 4044 3044 for guidance.

Pool Safety Register and safety certificates

All new swimming pools and spas require building approval from a Private Building Certifier. Read more about building approvals, inspections and certifications.

All residential pools and spas in Queensland must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). There is no charge to register a pool, however, failure to register a pool can incur a fine. The Pool Safety Register is a state-wide database that keeps a record of all the regulated pools in Queensland.

The Queensland Government requires you to have a Pool Safety Certificate (referred to as Form 23) when buying, selling or leasing a property with a pool or spa.  These certificates are issued by a licensed pool safety inspector are valid for one year for a shared pool and two years for a non-shared pool.  Once a certificate expires, a new certificate is not required unless the property is sold or leased again.

Pool owners seeking a pool safety certificate need to contact a Licensed Pool Safety Inspector to arrange an inspection. Pool Safety Inspectors can only issue a certificate when they have placed the certificate details onto the state-based Pool Safety Register.

Council has Licensed Pool Safety Inspectors who can conduct Pool Safety Inspections and issue Pool Safety Certificates – fees apply. Alternatively, you can engage a private Pool Safety Inspector. Visit the QBCC Pool Safety website for more information about swimming pool safety requirements and to search for a licensed Pool Safety Inspector.

Pool fences and safety barriers

Queensland's pool safety laws require pool owners to construct and maintain a compliant fence around their swimming pool regardless of when the pool was installed.  The standard for fencing around a swimming pool is contained in the following legislation:

  • AS1926.1 -2007 Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Fencing for swimming pools
  • AS1926.2 -1995 Swimming Pool Safety Part 2: Location of fencing for private swimming pools
  • Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 3.4 – Swimming Pool Barriers

Where a boundary fence or wall of a building on a common boundary forms part of the pool barrier, the pool safety standard still applies.  If any part of the boundary fence or wall does not meet the requirements of the pool safety standard, the pool owner may need to construct a separate barrier inside their property to comply with the standard.

Pool owners are responsible for ensuring pool barriers are maintained and damaged fencing or barriers are fixed immediately. Read more about pool fences and safety barriers on the Queensland Government website.

Queensland pool safety standards changed effective 1 December 2015 and there is now a single pool safety standard. Pool owners do NOT need to obtain a new pool safety certificate unless you plan to sell or lease the property with a pool.

Read more below or watch the video at the bottom of this page for more information on your obligations as a pool owner.

It should be noted that failing to comply with pool safety requirements may incur a fine of $2277.00

For download

Last updated: 07 November 2017