Apply for a Swimming Pool Barrier Exemption

Apply for an exemption to the general requirements regarding the location of pool barriers and fencing.

Applying for an exemption

State legislation sets out the general requirements regarding the location of pool fencing. Exceptions currently exist for some pools based on age and location.

Exemptions to pool fencing requirements apply to the following pools, so long as the access to the pool (i.e., from the associated dwelling), is restricted in accordance with the exception outlined in the swimming pool regulation for the year the pool was built:

  • pools constructed prior to 1 August 1990
  • pools on waterfront properties constructed before 1 July 2010
  • pools on properties smaller than 230-square-metres constructed before 1 July 2010
  • pools on properties greater than two hectares or more constructed before 1 July 2010

Swimming pool barrier exceptions can only be applied for by the property owner. All correspondence will be issued to the property owner.

Here's how to apply for an exemption:

Step 1. Talk to us

If you believe you're entitled to an exception, please contact Council’s Planning Section on 1300 292 442 to discuss your individual circumstances.

Step 2. Gather your documents

To complete your application, you'll need to submit a property sketch showing the street name, orientation, all existing buildings and their use, existing fencing including height and type and any other child-resistant barriers to pool access, and the location of the pool.

Step 3. Apply

Once you've gathered your documents, you can apply for a swimming pool barrier exception online.

A fee is payable on application - see our swimming pool fees and charges for information.

Fill out and return the application form:

Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Barrier Exemption Application 283.8 KB Download

How to retain your swimming pool barrier exemption

To retain the exemption that was available when the pool was built, the pool barrier or means of access must continue to fully comply with the Australian Standard applicable at the time of installation and be maintained in the exact same way as it was originally approved.

Swimming pool barrier and fencing exemptions will no longer apply if:

When access to a pool or pool barrier is substantially altered or rebuilt (i.e., the swimming pool fence, door, or window access from the dwelling to the pool is substantially changed from when it was approved), the entire swimming pool barrier must be upgraded to comply with the current legislation and Australian Standards.

Where a restricted means of access or pool barrier has not been provided (i.e. the doors or windows from the dwelling do not comply with the Australian Standards applicable when the pool was approved), then the exemption no longer applies and the entire pool barrier is required to be upgraded to comply with current standards.

Where the restricted means of access or pool barrier is not maintained or is not in accordance with the terms of the exemption, the exemption no longer applies, and the access or pool barrier must comply with current standards.

If you fence in a swimming pool voluntarily, even if it was not required by legislation when the pool was installed (it was exempt), the fencing must still meet current legislative requirements.

By installing fencing, you are effectively removing the exemption. Once in place, the fence cannot be removed or altered to a lesser (older) standard.