Swimming pools and spas

Pool owners are required by law to ensure their pool is fenced and meets the swimming pool safety standard.

If you own a property with a swimming pool or spa you must:

You can learn more about your legal requirements as a pool owner on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website.

We recommend you engage a licensed pool safety inspector to inspect your pool and confirm it is compliant. A list of pool safety inspectors can be found on the QBCC website.

New swimming pools and spas

All swimming pools and spas require building approval by a Private Building Certifier prior to construction or installation.

Building a pool? Learn more here

The Private Building Certifier who issues the building approval must inspect and certify the pool safety barrier, and the pool must not be filled to a depth of 300mm or more until a satisfactory inspection is carried out and a Final Inspection Certificate (Form 17) has been issued by the Certifier.

Before purchasing a swimming pool, including a portable/inflatable pool or spa, you should ensure that you are aware of pool fencing requirements.

All pools and spas in Queensland must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission in the pool safety register.

Existing swimming pools and spas

When selling or leasing a property that contains a pool, a Pool Safety Certificate (Form 23) is required from a licensed pool safety inspector – fees apply.

Pool safety certificates

Please note that if you are not selling or leasing your house, a pool safety certificate is not required.

For recently built pools, a Final Inspection Certificate (Form 17) issued by the Building Certifier can be used as a pool safety certificate for two years (one year for shared pools, such as in a multi-unit accommodation building).

Demolition of an existing swimming pool requires building approval from a Private Building Certifier.

Fencing Requirements

There is now one pool safety standard for Queensland, the Queensland Development Code for swimming pool barriers.

If you are not sure whether your fencing complies with the code, you may wish to contact a licensed Pool Safety Inspector to assess your pool and provide guidance.

Here are some of the basics to help you navigate through the requirements for pool barriers:

  • All pool fences, including those for inflatable and paddling pools capable of holding 300mm of water, must be at least 120cm tall.
  • The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground must be no more than 10cm and no gaps wide enough for a toddler to squeeze through.
  • The fence must not have footholds for climbing, must be strong enough to stop a child forcing a gap in the bars or mesh, and must be sturdy enough to withstand a heavy knock.
  • Gates must also adhere to strict guidelines. They must be self-closing and self-latching, with the latching device at least 150cm from the ground, and must not open towards the pool, but away from it.
  • Council can inspect and issue on-the-spot fines to pool owners who do not have adequate pool fencing.

Fencing Exemptions

Under the Building Act 1975, a person who is the owner of a swimming pool or spa may apply for an exemption from complying with a part of the pool safety standard due to disability or impracticality. Council will consider the application against the relevant provisions of the Act and only issue an exemption where it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so, and other pool safety measures will be effectively implemented to prevent a young child from drowning or pool immersion injuries.

A person who holds an exemption must comply with any conditions of the exemption and all parts of the pool safety standard not subject of the exemption. Council may revoke an exemption where it is deemed appropriate to do so. For further information in relation to exemptions from complying with part of a pool safety standard or to apply for an exemption, please refer to Council’s Exemption from Pool Safety Standard Factsheet and Pool Fencing Exemption Application Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Council has compiled some frequently asked questions which may assist you to ensure that your swimming pool or spa complies with current standards.

Swimming pools and spas fact sheet

Contact us

For further information, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 1300 79 49 29 or email enquiry@frasercoast.qld.gov.au