The Mildura and Swan Hill councils estimate about 93 per cent of residential swimming
pools and spas in their municipalities still haven’t been registered, with new state
legislation making it mandatory just weeks from taking effect.
- Property owners, including landlords, are required to register their existing pool or spa with councils by June 1
- Any new pools or spas built after June 1 must be registered within 30 days after a certificate of final inspection or occupancy permit is issued
- One council is even turning to aerial imaging to identify properties with swimming pools, as it urges people to lodge their registration paperwork by the June 1 deadline.
Swan Hill council’s director of development and planning, Heather Green, said there were
believed to be more than 1,000 pools in its council area.
To date though, only 48 have been registered and the council is investigating the
installation dates of another 19 pools.
Mildura Rural City Council said it had processed 242 registration applications, but a
spokesman said the council was aware of an estimated 3,500 pools in its municipality.
“We have looked at aerial photos of people of the municipality to
identify properties with swimming pools so we will catch up with
people over time,” Ms Green said.
“It’s a lengthy process to do that though, so we are really trying to encourage people to
come forward straight away and register their pool.”
She said the registration was a “fairly simple process”.
Property owners, including landlords, are required to register their existing pool or spa
with councils by June 1.
The rules apply to in-ground and above ground pools, indoor pools, jacuzzis, hot tubs and
swim spas, and children’s wading pools, but indoor spas used for personal hygiene,
inflatable children’s pools that contain less than 30cm of water, and other structures like
bird baths and fish ponds are exempt.
Any new pools or spas built after June 1 must be registered within 30 days after a
certificate of final inspection or occupancy permit is issued.
The Victorian Government made registration mandatory because drownings and near
drownings are the most common cause of preventable death or disability, and many
safety barriers remain non-compliant with the state’s Building Act.
Anyone found not to have registered their pool or spa in the required time frame can be
The registration is a simple process, says Mildura Rural City Council
Under the new legislation, which was passed by the Victorian Parliament late last year,
private pools and spas must also have a registered building surveyor or inspector certify
that their safety barrier is compliant every four years, and undertake any repairs as
Ms Green said having enough qualified inspectors available to do that work “is going to be
“Hence the state has a staggered approach for the inspections to occur, so we’re hoping
there will be trained people available by the time the first lot of inspections need to take
place, which is not until 2021,” Ms Green said.
She urged pool owners to use the winter to ensure their pools were safe.
“It’s a really important thing that we stop and reduce the number of
drownings, primarily by children, and annual maintenance is a really
good thing to do,” Ms Green said.
“Now is the time to have a look at your fence [and] get it registered.”