Project status: In Progress

We are looking at

The ACT Government is committed to preventing death and serious injuries from drownings and near drownings in home swimming pools. Regulatory reforms will be introduced in 2023 that will require all home swimming pools to have a barrier compliant with modern safety standards (within a specified transition period).

At present, pool owners must comply with the standard that applied when their pool was constructed, unless substantial changes have been made to the barrier. If substantial changes have been made, the pool owner must comply with the standard that applied at the time those changes were made.

The legislative reforms will:

  • require all home swimming pool barriers to comply with modern safety standards
  • require ongoing maintenance of home swimming pools and barriers with a penalty for non-compliance
  • require disclosure of a pool’s compliance status when the property is sold or leased
  • establish a compliance framework to support the enforcement of the above.

The reforms will apply to all ACT home swimming pools and spa pools that are capable of containing water to a depth greater than 30cm. Home swimming pools means pools associated with a residential building such as a house, unit, townhouse or block of apartments. Some exemptions will be available in specified circumstances (see FAQs below for more information).

Details of the reforms are available in the:

Why bring in pool safety reforms?

In the ACT, the home swimming pool is the most common location for drowning death and injury for children under the age of five. It is not only children who live at houses with swimming pools who drown. Children and relatives who may be visiting and neighbourhood children are also at risk.

Pool barriers are a vital safety measure designed to help restrict children’s access to a pool or pool area. Adult supervision, combined with pool fencing, is the most effective method of preventing drowning. Children should always be supervised closely in and around pools.

As a community we are responsible for safety around pools. Together we can reduce the risk of people drowning or suffering serious injury in our swimming pools.

How you had YourSay

During consultation we asked Canberrans, particularly pool owners, to provide input on the swimming pool safety reforms by completing a questionnaire. Your feedback is now being used to help inform the final design of the reforms. Consultation closed at 11:59pm on 15 March 2023.