Pool Safety

Swimming Pool Regulations

Do you require a permit to for a swimming pool or spa?

Permits must be obtained from the Devonport City Council for the installation and set-up of pools and spas (as defined below). Before building a swimming pool or spa, inflating a blow-up pool or spa and/or erecting related safety fencing, you need to check with the Council to find out if or what building and/or plumbing approval is required.


The Building Code of Australia (BCA) defines a swimming pool as an excavation or structure that:

  • is capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more
  • the maximum possible water surface is greater than 9 square metres
  • is capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or other human aquatic activities
  • is used, designed, manufactured or adapted for the purpose mentioned above, despite its current use
  • includes spas and inflatable swimming pools

It does not include a:

  • fish pond
  • ornamental pond, manufactured to be used for ornamental purposes
  • dam used for aquaculture, marine research or storage of water
  • watercourse
  • spa bath situated in a bathroom which is not continually filled with water
  • birthing pool used solely for water births
  • portable wading pool

A portable wading pool is defined as:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of less than 300 millimetres; and
  • has a volume of no more than 2,000 litres; and
  • has no filtration or pumping system

Pool Fencing

Above-ground swimming pools and spas are required to have permanent safety barriers in the same manner as in-ground pools and spas, however, the walls of an above-ground swimming pool or spa may provide a barrier if they are at least 1.2m in height and so not have a surface which enables a child to gain a foothold and climb into the swimming pool or spa. Any objects that could be climbable by a young child, such as a pool ladder, pool filter, pump equipment or plumbing connection into the side of the pool, should be properly fenced or otherwise isolated.

Fencing regulations state that:

  • Fences must be a minimum of 1.2m high
  • The gap under the fence to be a maximum of 100mm from the ground
  • The vertical bars should be closer than 100mm apart
  • Once a fence and self-closing gate are installed, they must be kept in good working order

The placing of a cover or lid over the swimming pool or spa DOES NOT comply and is not acceptable. A safety barrier is required.

For more information click here(PDF, 468KB).