Swimming pools

Find out what you need to know about Queensland’s swimming pool safety standards and where to find more information.

The standards have been implemented to reduce drowning and immersion injuries, and they apply all over the state, including the Central Highlands. They are covered in a few legal codes including the

Central Highlands Regional Council is the local regulatory body for swimming pool safety in the Central Highlands and undertakes inspections in accordance with these standards.

  • What is a swimming pool?

    A swimming pool, as defined in the Building Act 1975, includes any excavation or structure capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more, and capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling, aquatic activity and was manufactured or is being used as such. In Queensland, all regulated pools and spas must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.

  • Safety inspections, certificates and compliance

    If you own a property with a pool and lease or rent it out, you must obtain a ‘Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate’ from a licensed pool safety inspector. When you sell a property with a pool, you need the same, or you must comply with the requirements of Section 246AFT (b) of the Building Regulation 2006.

    If an inspection finds that your pool isn’t compliant with pool safety laws, the owner or responsible person for the pool will receive a ‘Form 26 Nonconformity Notice’ from the inspector within 48 hours of the inspection. The form will detail what issues are and how to rectify them. As a result, you may need to undertake work to achieve compliance.

    TIP: Find a list of licensed pool safety inspectors on the QBCC website.

  • Pool fences: It's the law and your responsibility

    If you own a pool, you must construct and maintain a pool fence that complies with current standards, regardless of when the pool was installed.

    • It shall be a permanent structure and meet strength and rigidity testing.
    • The effective height shall be not less than 1200mm and shall include a continuous non-climbable zone of 900mm.
    • The maximum distance from the bottom of the barrier to the ground level is not to exceed 100m.
    • The maximum gap anywhere in the fence is not to exceed 100mm.
    • All objects inside the pool fence that may provide footholds must be a minimum of 300mm away from the fence or appropriately shielded.
    • Gates need to open outwards, away from the pool enclosure with a full arc of operation and be self-closing and self-latching from all open positions.
    • Direct access from a dwelling into a pool enclosure is not permitted. All entry to a pool must be through an approved gate.
    • A building with windows that open more than 100mm directly into a pool enclosure must have a permanently fixed security screen fitted or be permanently closed.
    • A current resuscitation sign must be displayed prominently in the pool area. View the Building Regulation 2006 for specifications.
    • The walls of an above ground pool may form part of the fence if they meet the minimum 1200mm above ground height and 900mm non-climbable zone.
    • If your property boundary fence forms part of the pool fence, it must comply with these standards. This applies also when the boundary fence is common, shared between neighbours. Talk to your neighbour if you’d like the shared boundary fence to become part of a pool fence. Part 2A of Chapter 8 in the Building Act 1975 details requirements for pool owners proposing to use or build a fence on a common boundary as a pool fence. Also, read Chapter 2 in the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011.
  • Other resources

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