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Information

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 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:

  • Swimming Pools Act 1992

  • Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 

    • 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.

 

 

Note: If the swimming pool barrier is modified or altered, then the current Swimming Pools Act 1992, Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 and Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 is applied and previous exemptions cease.


Swimming Pool Regulation Clause 29   Public access to Australian Standards, Building Code of Australia and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline
(1)  Each local authority must ensure that an electronic version, and if requested a paper copy of a relevant extract of the applicable Australian standards, the Building Code of Australia and the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline are made available for public inspection at no cost at each public office of the local authority during ordinary business hours.
(2)  Each local authority must ensure that the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline is available for viewing on its website.
(3)  In this clause:
applicable Australian standards means all of the following:
(a)  AS 1926—1986, Fences and gates for private swimming pools as published by Standards Australia on 4 August 1986,
(b)  AS 1926.1—2007,
(c)  AS 1926.1—2012, Swimming pool safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools as published by Standards Australia on 6 November 2012, including any subsequent editions,
(d)  AS 1926.2—2007, Swimming pool safety, Part 2: Location of safety barriers for swimming pools as published by Standards Australia on 12 July 2007, including any subsequent editions. 

 

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 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.

 

Part 3, Clause 10 of the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 is now in effect. 


Contents of warning notices

(3)  The occupier of any premises in or on which a swimming pool (not including a spa pool) is being constructed must ensure that a sign is erected and maintained that:

(a)  bears a notice containing the words “This swimming pool is not to be occupied or used”, and

(b)  is located in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of that swimming pool, and

(c)  continues to be erected and maintained until a relevant occupation certificate or a certificate of compliance has been issued for that swimming pool.

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.

Note.

 The signage requirements in subclause (3) are in addition to any signage that may be required under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or any other Act.

 

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 inspections you can contact your local council or private certifier

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.

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