Swimming pools

At Council we handle issues about pool fence compliance and applications for exemptions.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) handles pool safety issues including:

  • pool safety inspector licensing
  • compliance
  • disciplinary functions.

All pools and spas in Queensland must be fenced and registered in the Queensland pool safety register

You can find more information on the QBCC pool safety information website.

Pool safety concerns

To report an issue about pool fencing on a neighbouring property contact our team.

All pool owners have a responsibility to comply with pool safety laws. If a breach is found we will help the owners to comply with the pool safety requirements.

We encourage pool owners to comply but if a solution is not reached we must enforce compliance. This could involve fines or legal action.

Buying a pool or spa

All new pools or spas need a building works permit and a final inspection certificate.

All pools or spas also need a compulsory pool fence or barrier that must comply with the law.

When buying inflatable or portable pools remember the following:

  • Portable or inflatable pools and spas can be a serious safety risk to young children.
  • Portable or inflatable pools need a building works permit, pool safety certificate and a compliant pool fence if the pool meets any of the following conditions:
    • holds water more than 300mm deep
    • holds more than 2,000L of water
    • has a filtration system.

If you are buying a property with an existing pool it must comply with the current pool safety standards.

You can find more information on the QBCC website.

Obligations of pool ownership

All pools must be registered on the Queensland pool safety register.

If your pool does not comply with pool safety standards we will ask you to fix the problem. If you don’t fix it, we may take enforcement action which could result in fines and/or legal action. 

If your pool is not compliant you should seek advice from a registered pool safety inspector about your options.

A pool safety certificate from a licensed pool safety inspector is needed for:

  • any property that is sold or leased with a pool in place
  • portable pools and spas that can hold water more than 300mm deep, or hold more than 2,000L of water or have a filtration system
  • pools under a body corporate (i.e. pool on common property that is shared)
  • pools at hotels, motels, caravan parks and other short term accommodation where the pool is shared.

Pool safety certificates are valid for two years for a non-shared pool, or one year for a shared pool.

For information about how to get a pool safety certificate, or how to locate or engage a pool safety inspector, please check with the QBCC.

Exemptions from pool fencing compliance

In some circumstances we may grant an exemption from pool fence compliance (for example, due to disability).

A building works permit from a private certifier is still needed even if an exemption is granted.

To apply for an exemption from pool fencing compliance you must submit a Queensland Government Form 28 - Pool safety standard exemption with:

  • a site plan showing proposed alternative solutions to stop a child getting into the pool
  • supporting documentation of these solutions
  • certificates where applicable
  • authority for us to access the site for an inspection
  • fees paid in full.

An exemption ends if any of the following conditions apply:

  • the applicant stops being the owner of the regulated pool
  • the person who required the exemption no longer lives at the property
  • physical access to the pool by the person who required the exemption is no longer restricted by pool safety standards.

You can find more information on the QBCC website.

Unused swimming pools

If you are not going to use a swimming pool but don't want to get rid of it (for example, during winter or if you take a long trip), consider the options below.

  • Run the pool as normal to stop the water going stagnant, breeding mosquitos, growing algae and collecting fallen leaves that will break down and smell.
  • Keep the pool’s water covered or treated with kerosene, suitable oil or other suitable substance.
  • Keep the water stocked with mosquito-larvae destroying fish.
  • Empty all the water from the pool, allow it to dry, and scrub the inside every seven days. Please note that an empty pool may crack or collapse. Please consult a pool builder for advice before you empty a pool.

Decommissioning a pool

Pool safety laws give pool owners the choice to remove a swimming pool or spa as an alternative to complying with pool safety standards. 

Find out more in our Decommissioning of pools fact sheet (PDF 155 KB).