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Information

*Please also check Alerts Tabs for any updates*

 

The NSW Government has approved the transfer of the swimming pools regulatory scheme from the Office of Local Government (OLG) to the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (DFSI).

The transfer of administrative responsibility for the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 is part of a wider Government program to consolidate regulatory schemes to improve business conditions and streamline access to Government services in NSW. 

From 1 January 2018 this date information regarding the swimming pools regulatory scheme can be accessed on the NSW Fair Trading website.

https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/building-and-renovating/pools-and-pool-safety/swimming-pools-and-spas

 

Legislation

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and its regulations work together with Australian Standard 1926 (AS1926) to establish the safety standards for ‘backyard’ swimming pools. These documents have been updated a number of times and, as a result, apply differently at different points in time.

The legislation can be found here:

The NSW Government has remade the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008. The Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 commenced on 1 September 2018 and is now in effect.

The 2018 Regulation supports the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (the Act) and features changes to further improve the operation and administration of the Act. The Act sets out the responsibilities of pool owners and generally requires that pool access be restricted by a child-resistant barrier to protect young children.

Changes to the Regulation have been shaped through consultation with industry, stakeholders and the public. The main changes include:

    • increasing the maximum fees that local authorities may charge, by enabling authorities to charge fees for third and subsequent pool inspections, and raising the fee cap for determining exemption application
    • introducing greater flexibility for the way that spa pools can be secured
    • imposing a new obligation on occupiers to display a warning notice while a swimming pool is being constructed, and making it an offence to fail to comply with that obligation
    • minor changes to warning notices that are already required to be displayed under the Act
    • improving public access to applicable Australian Standards, not just AS 1926.1 – 2007
    • requiring inspection details for certificates of non-compliance to be entered on the Swimming Pools Register
    • enabling compliance with the Building Code of Australia Performance Requirements using deemed-to-satisfy or performance solution pathways
    • minor changes to improve clarity and the intent of the Regulation

Australian Standard

The Australian Standard (AS1926) is a document protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced here. Your local council should have a copy of the Standard available for viewing. The relevant versions of the Australian Standard are dated 1986, 2007 and 2012.

The requirements for child-resistant barriers vary depending on when the pool was built and where the pool is located.

There are 3 different Pool Safety Standards that apply in NSW, depending on when the pool was constructed:

 

    • AS 1926-1986, fences and gates for private swimming pools which applies to pools constructed prior to 30 August 2008
    • AS 1926.1 - 2007, swimming pool safety, Part 1 safety barriers for swimming pools which applies to pools constructed between 1 September 2008 to 30 April 2013
    • AS1926.1 - 2012, swimming pool safety, Part 1 safety barriers for swimming pools constructed after 1 May 2013

Pools built before 1 August 1990

Access to the pool from the house must be restricted at all times. Windows and doors may form part of the barrier, but they must be compliant.


Pools built after 1 August 1990 but before 1 July 2010

The pool must be surrounded by a fence that separates the pool from the house. Some exemptions apply if the pool is part of

    • a very small property (less than 230 square metres)
    • a large property (2 hectares or over)
    • a waterfront property.

Pools built from 1 July 2010

All new pools must be surrounded by a fence that separates the pool from the house.


History of NSW Swimming Pool legislation, regulation and pool barrier standards

 

Pool Build Date

Act

Regulation

Australian Standard

Pre 1 August 1990

Swimming Pool Act 1992

Swimming Pools Regulation 1992

Pre 1 August 1990 pools exempted from the standard under section 8 and small, large and waterfront property pools

1 August 1990 to 31 August 2008

Swimming Pool Act 1992

Swimming Pools Regulation 1992

AS 1926-1986

Exemptions to the standards for small, large and waterfront properties.

1 September 2008 to 30 June 2010

Swimming Pool Act 1992

Swimming Pools Regulation 2008, commenced 1 September 2008.

AS 1926.1-2007

1 July 2010 to 30 April 2013

Swimming Pool Act 1992 and Amendment Act 2010 & 2012

Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 amended 1 May 2011.

AS 1926.1-2007

Act ends exemptions to the standards for small, large and waterfront properties from 1 July 2010

1 May 2013 onward

Swimming Pool Act 1992

Swimming Pools Regulation 2008

AS1926.1-2012

*Adapted from Independent Review of Swimming Pool Barrier requirements for backyards= swimming pools in NSW – Michael Lambert. Sept 2015

Note: If the swimming pool barrier is modified or altered, then the current Swimming Pools Act 1992, Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 and Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 is applied and previous exemptions cease.

 

 

New laws for buying, selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool in NSW

Properties to be sold with a pool must have:

    • A certificate of registration AND 
    • A certificate of compliance; or
    • A relevant occupation certificate; or
    • A certificate of non-compliance.

Properties to be leased with a pool must have:

    • a certificate of registration AND
    • A certificate of compliance; or
    • A relevant occupation certificate 

 

What is exempt?

These new laws do not apply to properties with more than two lots and a shared pool, such as units in strata complexes or community schemes. This information sheet should be read in conjunction with the NSW Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Amendment (Swimming Pools) Regulation 2016, which can be accessed here.

Inspector/Certifier Obligations:

    • At the request of the owner, inspect the swimming pool barrier.
    • If the pool barrier is compliant, issue a certificate of compliance within three days of the date of inspection.
    • If the pool barrier is non-compliant, issue a written notice under section 22E of the NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992 and a certificate of non-compliance within seven days of the date of inspection.
    • Certificates of compliance, certificates of non-compliance and registration certificates are only valid when issued from the NSW Swimming Pools Register.
    • The local council must be notified immediately if you are of the opinion that the swimming pool poses a significant risk to public safety.
    • A copy of the section 22E written notice should be provided to the relevant local council:
    • Immediately where the pool poses a significant risk to public safety; or
    • Within five days after the expiry of six weeks from the date of inspection if the owner fails to rectify pool barrier non-compliances. 

Where do I go for additional assistance?

Your real estate agent, solicitor, conveyancer, strata manager or local authority (council) will be able to assist you


Legislation can be found on the NSW legislation website. The Acts and Regulations of relevance are:

  • The Swimming Pools Act 1992

  • The Swimming Pools Regulation 2018

  • The Conveyancing Act 1919

  • The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010

  • The Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (schedule 1 – Standard Form Agreement)

  • The Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002

 

The amending regulations are:

  • The Swimming Pools Amendment (Inspections) Regulation 2016

  • The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Amendment (Swimming Pools) Regulation 2016

  • The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Swimming Pools) Regulation 2016.

 

What do the changes mean for you?

For more information on how the sale and lease provision will affect you, click on the link below. 

 

 

 Many councils produce excellent guidance publications that will assist a pool owner to understand the requirements of the legislation and the Standard. Some examples may be found by following the links below:

Enquiries

For further home pool safety information, you can contact a water safety organisation such as Royal Life Saving Australia, your local council or your local pool supplies retailer.

For swimming pool register enquiries, please contact your local council.