Private Swimming Pools

The New South Wales Office of Local Government has recognised swimming pool safety as an important issue and in doing so has made significant amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (the Act). These amendments include inspection fees and penalties, pool registration and certification and a requirement for local councils to develop a Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection Program. The aim of these changes is to reduce drowning and near drowning instances of children under the age of five.

In NSW, the owners of properties with a swimming pool and/or a spa pool are required to register their pools and spas on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.


The consequences of a small child being able to enter your pool enclosure through a gap in a fence are often tragic and can be prevented by simply taking a few easy measures.

A special pool safety checklist has been set up by Royal Life Saving for anyone in Australia to download. The checklist urges people to check swimming pool gates, swimming pool fences as well as looking at issues like chemicals around pools, supervision issues, emergency preparation and other matters.

Ownership of a swimming pool provides many hours of pleasure and is a great leisure time activity, but in turn carries a large burden of responsibility to maintain it in a manner fit for persons to use.

It is essential that children are watched at all times by a responsible adult, as many drownings occur in the brief moments when parents are distracted. Never leave children alone in the pool area.

Parents are also encouraged to introduce their children to water safety at an early age and to attend swimming classes. Parents should also learn resuscitation in case of an emergency.

Swimming Pool Register

All pools in NSW must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.

Members of the pool register are provided with current information about NSW swimming pool legislation to make sure their pool remains safe.

The NSW Swimming Pool Register was introduced to help prevent backyard drownings, which claim the lives of 17 Australian toddlers on average each year. Research indicates that by increasing compliance with pool barrier requirements the rate of infant death by drowning could be reduced by up to 41 per cent.

Pool Fencing

Child resistant barriers in swimming pools and spas should be installed and maintained to the most current Australian Standards.

Requirements may vary depending on the year the pool or spa was constructed. If substantial works have been undertaken since the original construction date the entire swimming pool barrier must be upgraded to the current Australian Standard.

You must have a four sided fence around any pool or spa that can be filled with more than 300mm of water. This includes inflatable and portable swimming pools. Portable or inflatable pools that have a capacity greater than 2000 litres require approval from Council. 

Indoor swimming pools have to follow pool compliance regulations, which include specific requirements for doorsets, door hardware heights, window openings and the provision of a CPR chart.

Inflatable Swimming Pools

Do inflatable swimming pools need fencing?

The Swimming Pools Act 1992, states that a swimming pool which is capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more, must be surrounded by a child resistant barrier.

Swimming pool safety is an issue that Council does not take lightly and council officers will be doing their utmost to ensure compliance with the Act and Regulations to prevent a drowning tragedy occurring in the future.

If a child is in or around water, it is important that they be supervised at all times.





For further information please contact Council’s Environment, Tourism and Economic Development Department on 02 6895 1950.