Pool Exemptions

Between 1 August 1992 to 30 June 2010 the Swimming Pools Act provided an alternative to the general requirements of the location of pool child resistant barriers.  These are referred to as exemptions.

Even if your pool falls into an exempt category we strongly recommend that you upgrade your pool to comply with current safety requirements.  

What pools does exempt status apply to?

Provided owners ensure means of access to a pool is at all times restricted, exempt status applies to:

  • Pools constructed prior to 1 August 1990.
  • Pools on waterfront properties constructed before 1 July 2010.
  • Pools on properties having an area less than 230 square metres, constructed before 1 July 2010.
  • Pools on properties having an area of 2 hectares or more, and constructed before 1 July 2010.

Pool owners should note that pool exempt status does not remain for the life of the pool.  

For more information about your pool exemption status, contact a council pool safety officer or apply for a pool certificate of compliance.

Additional types of pool exemption

If you do not meet the above criteria, there are circumstances where a pool owner can apply for a Pool Exemption under Section 22 of the Swimming Pools Act.

To do this you need to:

  • Complete a pool exemption application and lodge with council.  Payment of the legislated application fee is payable at the time of submission.
  • In the application you will need to provide reasons why you should receive exemption status with reference to rules outlined in Section 22.
  • After we receive your application and payment, you will be contacted by council to arrange a pool inspection.

Before applying for a certificate of exemption review Section 22 of the Swimming Pools Act.

Apply for a Pool Certificate of Exemption

Retaining pool exemption status

The pool barriers and means of access must continue to comply with the safety standard applicable at the time the pool was installed.  

Losing exempt pool status

When you lose exempt pool status for any of the following reasons you must ensure you comply with all current pool safety requirements.  Pool exempt status will be removed when:

  • Access to a pool or pool barrier is substantially altered or rebuilt.
  • Restricted access to a pool or pool barrier is not provided.
  • Restricted access to a pool or pool barrier is not maintained or does not comply.
  • Owner fences pool voluntarily, once fenced the exemption cannot be reinstated and all current compliance standards must be met.
  • Exempt barrier was not provided or not in place.
  • Exempt barrier is removed eg, dwelling is demolished.  If the existing pool is being retained, it no longer retains the exemption and requires a child resistant barrier separating the pool from the new residence and adjoining properties, both public and private.  The pool is required to be fenced prior to demolition of dwelling.

New structures

New structures such as a garage, carport, shed, boat shed, pergola or the like are required to be outside the enclosed pool area child resistant barriers. Child resistant doors are no longer permitted and door exemptions do not apply for new structures, even though the property may have a complying existing barrier exemption.

Pool Exemption Application

An application for an exemption from a part of the child-resistant barrier requirements can be made.  Owners are required to satisfy council that the circumstances warrant an exemption.  Council will consider:

  • whether it is impractical or unreasonable for the swimming pool to comply with requirements; or
  • that the alternative safety provisions being proposed are effective.

Apply for Pool Exemption Certificate

A legislated fee of $250 applies for all applications.

Further information about pool exemptions can be found under s22 of the Swimming Pools Act.


Address: ,

More information

Policies and documents

Pool Safely Booklet


Pool Inspection and Certificate of Compliance Pool Certificate of Exemption



Pool safety concern Pool Inspection and Certificate of Compliance Pool Certificate of Exemption

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