ACT Government introduces new mandatory safety standards for home swimming pools


Today, the ACT Government will introduce new regulatory reforms to make it mandatory for all home swimming pools to comply with modern safety standards.

Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti, said that the reforms will help to make children and visitors safer around home pools.

“In the ACT, the most common location for drowning death and injury for children under the age of 5 is in home swimming pools,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“Supervising children in a pool is still the best way to monitor a child’s safety in the water, but pool fences are a crucial way to restrict children from entering pool areas and spas.

“Pool designs and safety standards have changed and pools that were installed many years ago may not comply with these important modern standards. Bringing pools and spas up to modern safety standards rather than those when the pool was constructed, will reduce the risk of people drowning or suffering serious injury.

“The reforms are proposed to start from 1 May 2024 with a four-year transition period to ease the pressure on property owners to comply with the modern safety standards.

Under the reforms:

  • all pool owners will be required to maintain their pool barriers.
  • residents who have a swimming pool on their property will be required to make sure that all doors and gates providing access to the swimming pool are kept securely closed at all times when they are not in use.
  • homeowners with a pool that applies to the reforms will have to bring swimming pool barriers up to compliance with the prescribed safety standards or seek an exemption, which can be considered in limited circumstances.
  • homeowners will also be required to inform prospective tenants and purchasers of the new requirements and the compliance status of their pool.

The reforms will apply to all home swimming pools and spa pools that are capable of containing water to a depth greater than 300mm.

“These reforms bring the ACT in line with other jurisdictions that have already introduced swimming pool barrier reforms in recent years.”

For more information on the reforms visit the ACT Government’s Build, Buy, Renovate website.