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Backyard Swimming Pools

In 2012, a comprehensive review of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was finalised. This review identified a number of amendments designed to enhance the safety of children under the age of five years around private (‘backyard’) swimming pools in NSW.

The Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012

  1. NSW Swimming Pools Register available for use from 29 April 2013
  2. NSW Swimming Pools to be registered by owners by 29 October 2013
  3. Pool owners require a compliance certificate before sale or lease of their property from 29 April 2016 (Dates extended from 29 April 2014 by OLG to give pool owners more time to ensure swimming pool barrier compliance prior to the sale or lease of their property)

The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 commenced on 29 October 2012 and makes a number of amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1993: Information is provided below regarding the impact of these legislative amendments for pool owners. Additional information about the staged implementation provisions is also provided below.

Pool Owners:

  1. Swimming Pool owners are required to register their swimming pools on an online register to be provided by the NSW State Government.
  2. Swimming Pool owners will be required to self-assess, and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering the pool.
  3. There is a penalty for owners who fail to register a swimming pool (penalty notice amount of $220).
  4. Swimming Pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool.
  5. Accredited certifiers under the Building Professional Act 2005 may conduct swimming pool inspections initiated by the pool owner.

Staged implementation provisions:

The Act includes a staged implementation process to facilitate:

  1. The development and implementation of the Swimming Pools Register (to commence by no later than 29 April 2012)
  2. Registration by pool owners of pools (after the register commences and by no later than 29 October 2013)
  3. Councils’ inspection programs (to be developed in consultation with the community, adopted and commenced by no later than 29 October 2013).
  4. Mandatory inspections by councils of tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments, and pools associated with property sale and lease (to commence by no later than 29 April 2016).

Further information will be available as the legislative amendments are implemented.

To check if a pool meets legislative requirements, pool owners and occupiers should contact their local council in the first instance.

Factsheets from the Royal Life Saving Society on water safety can be found below or on their website.

Last Updated: 04 May 2016