Swimming Pools & Spas

Overview

swimming pool or spa is any excavation or structure capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm and used principally for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like. This includes any inflatable or temporary swimming pools or a spa that has a lockable cover.

A building permit is required for the construction of all permanent swimming pools and spas. Compliant safety barriers are required for all types of pools and spas capable of holding more than 300mm of water in depth. A building permit is also required if you are installing new or altering any part of an existing permanent safety barrier.

Safety barriers are not required for bird baths, fish ponds, fountains, dams and water storage tanks, however the owner has a duty of care to ensure these are safe.

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Swimming Pool & Spa Registration

Once your pool or spa is constructed/installed, you’re required to register the pool/spa within 30 days of the issuance of a final certificate or occupancy permit. Should you move to a new property with a pool or spa, please contact us to confirm registration.

To register your pool or spa, complete this form and lodge using the portal below, or email it to us directly. Methods of payment include invoice, credit card (using this form or Council can contact you) or in-person.

Once you’ve registered your pool or spa, Council will notify you of the due date for your first certificate of pool barrier compliance. You are required to arrange an inspection and lodge the certificate with council by the due date.

Please contact Council's Building Department by phone 03 5232 9400 or email should you require any assistance with registration. 

Lodge Registration

Payment Options * (required)

Anything else we should know?

Colac Otway Shire is committed to protecting your privacy. The personal information requested on this form is being collected by Colac Otway Shire for the purpose of updating it's swimming pool/spa register, or and other related purpose. The personal information will also be disclosed to the central Name and Address Register for the purpose of updating your information as required. It will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, unless required or authorised by law. If the personal information is not collected, Council cannot accept your registration and possibly resulting in fines if a pool or spa remains unregistered. If you wish to alter any of the personal information you have supplied to Colac Otway Shire, please contact Council via telephone on 5232 9400 or email inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au. Council’s Privacy Policy is available from our website: colacotway.vic.gov.au/Council-the-shire/Council-policies and all Council Customer Service Centres.

FAQs

How often do I have to pay this registration fee?

Once, upon initial registration.

I have a spa and a pool, do I have to pay twice?

If the spa and pool are within the same fence, only one registration fee is applicable. If the spa and pool are in separate fences, then two registrations are required.

Fees - 2023/24

Pool or spa registration fee
A one-off fee payable to the Colac Otway Shire for the registration of your pool or spa.
 $34.20
Information search fee (if applicable)
This fee enables the council to conduct the appropriate searches to determine the date of construction of your pool or spa and any associated building permits, which determines the applicable barrier standard. The information search fee applies to pools or spas constructed before 1 June 2020.
 $50.70
  

Swimming Pool & Spa Barriers

Owners are required to obtain and lodge a compliance certificate for the safety of their pool or spa barrier every four years. To do this, you’ll need to engage a building surveyor or building inspector who can carry out an inspection and provide the certificate confirming your barrier complies with safety requirements.

Common reasons for barriers failing to comply include:

  • lack of maintenance, e.g. gate hinges and latches wearing out

  • alterations and additions to adjacent buildings or boundary fences that compromise the effectiveness of the barrier

  • placing climbable objects such as BBQs or pot plants next to a barrier

  • allowing climbable vegetation to grow immediately next to a barrier.

Lodge Compliance Certificate

If available
Enter number if known
Method of Payment * (required)

Anything else we should know?

Colac Otway Shire is committed to protecting your privacy. The personal information requested on this form is being collected by Colac Otway Shire for the purpose of updating it's swimming pool/spa register, or and other related purpose. The personal information will also be disclosed to the central Name and Address Register for the purpose of updating your information as required. It will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, unless required or authorised by law. If the personal information is not collected, Council cannot accept your registration and possibly resulting in fines if a pool or spa remains unregistered. If you wish to alter any of the personal information you have supplied to Colac Otway Shire, please contact Council via telephone on 5232 9400 or email inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au. Council’s Privacy Policy is available from our website: colacotway.vic.gov.au/Council-the-shire/Council-policies and all Council Customer Service Centres.

FAQs

When do I have to lodge my certificate of compliance?

When you register your pool, Council will acknowledge the registration and notify you when this certificate is due.

Can the Council conduct these compliance inspections?

Currently the Council is not offering this service, however we do have a list of barrier inspectors on our website. This list is not exhaustive.

How often do I need to supply a certificate of compliance?

Every four years, on the anniversary of the original due date.

Fees - 2023/24

Compliance certificate lodgement fee $21.90
Non-compliance certificate lodgement fee $413.40
  

Maintaining your Safety Barrier

As an owner of a swimming pool or spa, you are required under the building regulations for ensuring any fence or barrier restricting access to a swimming pool or spa is maintained and operating effectively.  A maintenance checklist (also available as a Mobile app) is available from Royal Life Saving Australia.  Non-compliance, for any reason, can increase the risk of drowning and lead to prosecution.