Home swimming pool safety reforms in ACT

The ACT Government is committed to avoiding deaths and serious injuries from drowning incidents in home swimming pools and spas in the ACT.

New rules aim to protect the community by ensuring that home swimming pools and spas in the ACT are fenced in accordance with current safety standards. The new rules include offences relating to maintaining barriers and preventing access to home swimming pools and spas when not in use.

The home swimming pool safety reforms will apply to a home swimming pool or spa that is:

  • capable of containing water to a depth greater than 30cm; and
  • associated with a residential building such as a house, unit, townhouse or block of apartments.

This includes in-ground and above-ground pools, temporary and permanent pools, wading pools, demountable pools, portable pools, kids’ pools and spas.

Scheme commencement and transition period
The scheme commenced on 1 May 2024, with a four-year transition period. This period will allow homeowners time to make sure that their swimming pool or spa has a safety barrier that meets the prescribed safety standards.

Making home swimming pools and spas compliant with current safety standards
The new rules require home swimming pools and spas in the ACT to have a safety barrier, such as a fence, which meets current standards from 1 May 2028.

The changes that need to be made to safety barriers to make them compliant will depend on the type of safety barrier that is currently in place and the location of the swimming pool or spa in relation to other buildings, structures and boundary fences on the property.

Measures to address safety around all home swimming pools
The new rules also require safety barriers to be maintained and access to home swimming pools and spas to be prevented when not in use. From 1 May 2024, offence provisions will apply if safety barriers are not properly maintained and all doors, gates and covers providing access to the swimming pool or spa are not kept securely closed when not in use.

Information about a swimming pool or spa will also be required to be disclosed on sale or lease of a property.