Swimming Pool Registration, Installation and Legislation

By Yvette Yatras
Swimming Pool Certification – New Laws

The Register is be managed by the NSW Government and not Council

Key Links




After consultation with the Royal Life Saving Society, state agencies, councils and pool owners, new pool regulations are coming into force to better safeguard our children. These regulations place the
onus on backyard pool owners to certify that their pool barriers are up to standard. Safe pool fencing and responsible supervision are essential in preventing child drowning tragedies. On 23 October 2012 the Swimming Pools Amendment Bill was passed by both houses of parliament and assented by the Governor-General on 29 October 2012.

Staged Implementation

The Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 includes a staged implementation process to facilitate:

  • The development and implementation of the Swimming Pools Register (to commence by no later than 29 April 2013)
  • Registration by pool owners of pools (after the register commences and by no later than 29 October 2013)
  • Council’s inspection programs (to be developed in consultation with the community, adopted and commenced by no later than 29 October 2013)
  • Mandatory inspections by councils of tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments, and pools associated with property sale and lease (to commence by no later than 29 April 2014)
  • Pool owners require a compliance certificate before sale or lease of their property from 29 April 2014.
  • Accredited certifiers under the Building Professional Act 2005 may conduct swimming pool inspections initiated by the pool owner.

Changes to the Act

The Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012 makes the following amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992:

Council will be required to:

1. Develop and implement a swimming pool barrier inspection program in consultation with the community (Due 29 October 2013)

2. Report annually (via Council’s Annual Report) on the number of pool inspections undertaken and the level of compliance with the requirements

3. Inspect pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and multi-occupancy developments at three year intervals (Due 29 April 2014)

4. At the request of a pool owner, inspect pools prior to sale or lease

5. Issue a compliance certificate after an inspection which finds a pool barrier compliant with the requirements of the legislation. Compliance certificates are valid for three years.

In addition…

A swimming pool subject to an occupation certificate is exempt from an inspection program for three years from the date of issue of the occupation certificate. Councils may inspect any swimming pool that is subject to a complaint to the council. Council powers of entry will be consistent with the Local Government Act 1993. Councils may charge a fee for each inspection undertaken (up to a maximum of $150 for the first inspection and $100 for one re-inspection resulting from the first inspection).

The Register

Pool owners will be able to self-register free-of-charge on a State-wide, online register of swimming pools and certify that their pool barrier complies with the regulations.

Swimming pool owners will be required to:

  • Register their swimming pools on the online swimming pool register provided by the NSW State Government
  • Self-assess, and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering their pool.
  • There is a penalty for owners who fail to register a swimming pool (penalty notice amount of $220).

More information is available at The Division of Local Government -Backyard Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool Installation

What are the requirements for the installation of a new swimming pool?

Written Council approval is required for the installation of an above ground or inground swimming pool. Therefore residents are required to submit a Development Application form, Construction
Certificate, or a Complying Development Certificate and get approval from Council prior to any works commencing.  Click here to go to application and registration forms.

Where can I build a swimming pool?

All applications for swimming pools will be considered on their merits, having regard to the siting, design and size of the proposed structure. A swimming pool should be located a minimum of one metre
from the side boundary. In exceptional circumstances Council may approve a lesser distance. Council will also take into consideration the possible effect on the natural lighting and/or ventilation of the
applicant’s property or adjoining properties. Consideration may be given to a proposal to construct a swimming pool in front of a home subject to there being no adverse impact on the adjoining properties or the streetscape.

Pool Fencing Requirements

All new swimming pools (both inground and aboveground) are required to be isolated by a swimming pool fence, which complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act, 1992. Council may consider a variation to fencing if there are exceptional site circumstances/conditions, which restrict a new swimming pool to be completely fenced. Any variations to swimming pool fencing are assessed at the discretion of the Manager. However, Council will not consider a variation to a swimming pool fence if there is a door from a dwelling allowing access to the new swimming pool area.

For more information please refer to the Pool Fences Fact Sheet – 125 KB and Fencing Standards for Private Pools (363.04kB)

What if filling is required?

Filling associated with the construction of a new swimming pool should be kept to a minimum, however any filling that may be required as a result of site levels will be assessed on the merits of the Development Application. In this regard Council, when assessing an application where fill has been nominated, will consider the potential loss of amenity to neighbouring properties.


As with any proposed development, consideration to landscaping to soften the proposed and suggested development is often recommended. In relation to new swimming pools, consideration to landscape
screening between the pool and boundaries may assist to minimise noise and increase privacy to neighbouring properties.


Fees for all development within The Hills Shire are calculated on a sliding scale dependent on the cost of the work.


Adjoining neighbours may be notified in writing of any proposed development where there is a potential or likelihood to impact on the amenity of the surrounding neighbours. Council is required to allow a period of 14 days to receive any written submission by neighbours. If a written submission is received, Council’s officer will assess the concerns raised and try to mediate the concerns to achieve a win/win situation for all parties.

What details are required?

  • A site plan nominating the proposed location of the swimming pool in relation to existing site structures and boundaries.
  • Extent of cut and fill.
  • Out of ground levels with a relative datum reference point.
  • Location of fi ltration equipment.
  • Structural engineer’s details are also required to accompany the application.

Further Information

For further information on swimming pools, contact Council’s Duty Building Surveyor on 9843 0470 or e-mail: or through the online customer e-request system.

Up to Date

Latest News


    The difference between a sound property investment and a less than desirable property experience can come down to research and communication – strong research into the area you’re interested in, coupled with open and honest communication with your agent and property manager. Work out what your investment goals are and … Read more

    Read Full Post


    ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER Buying your first home in Australia can be extremely challenging. Banks are tightening their purse strings, prices in most capital cities are still on the rise, and young Australians are finding it more and more difficult to take that first step up the … Read more

    Read Full Post