Build a swimming pool or spa

Find out what you need to do to build a swimming pool or spa to comply with regulations - let's start with some definitions.


What is a swimming pool or spa?

A swimming pool or spa is any structure or excavation containing water and primarily used for swimming, wading, paddling or the like. This includes:

  • in-ground swimming pools
  • indoor swimming pools
  • above-ground swimming pools (including permanent and temporary swimming pools)
  • spas
  • swim spas
  • bathing and wading pools
  • jacuzzis and hot tubs


What is a safety barrier?

Safety barriers help restrict unsupervised entry by young children to the swimming pool or spa area. Sadly, children under five are at the highest risk of both fatal and non-fatal drownings in Victoria.

A safety barrier may consist of a:

  • fence (around the pool area)
  • boundary fence
  • wall
  • gate
  • screen
  • balustrade

And may include attachments such as:

  • doors
  • gates
  • windows
  • locks
  • latches
  • hinges
  • self-closing devices


When do you need a permit?

You need a building permit and possibly a planning permit or other approvals to:

  • build a pool or spa capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300mm (30cm)
  • install or make changes to all swimming pool and spa safety fences and barriers including windows, doors and gates that provide access to the area.


How much does it cost?

Speak with your private building surveyor to find out how much it costs.


How to apply

We do not issue building permits, speak with your private building surveyor to start the process. Learn more at the Victorian Building Authority website.


What happens next?

After your pool or spa is built, you are responsible for maintaining safety and ensuring your barriers remain compliant with Australian Standard AS1926.1 and are in working order throughout their lifetime.

You'll need to:

The State Government has a zero tolerance approach to any owners not committed to ensuring adequate water safety for young children. Significant penalties apply if a matter is brought before the court.