Swimming Pool Fencing Regulations in the Shire of Gingin

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On 23 December 2017 an amendment to Part 8, Division 2 of the Building Regulation 2012 took effect requiring ALL private swimming pools and spas within the Shire of Gingin to have compliant fencing.

What you need to do if you have an existing swimming pool

  • If you have an existing swimming pool and do not currently have swimming pool fencing that complies with Part 8 Division 2 of the Regulations you will need to take the following steps as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the Regulations:

1. submit an application for a building permit (BA2) for the construction of compliant swimming pool fencing;

2. once a permit has been obtained arrange for installation of the compliant swimming pool fencing; and

3. advise the Shire’s Building Department to be included on the 4 yearly inspection program of swimming pools.

  • If you have an existing swimming pool and already have swimming pool fencing that complies with Part 8 Division 2 of the Regulations, you only need to advise the Shire’s Building Department to be included on the 4 yearly inspection program of swimming pools.

  • If you have existing swimming pool fencing but are unsure if it complies with the Regulations you can obtain further information from the sources specified below or contact the Building Department of the Shire for further information.

  • If you have an existing swimming pool and fencing that does not have a building permit you will be required to obtain a compliance certificate from an independent Building Surveyor for the existing structures.

For information on Building Permits within the Shire of Gingin please see relevant links below :

Building application requirements

Building application forms and guides

Frequently asked questions

Where do I find information about compliant swimming pool fencing?

The Building Commission has a hand book ‘Rules for Pools and Spas’ available on their website, see link below:

https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/rules_for_pools_and_spas_a4_booklet_june_2016_web.pdf.

When do the inspections of pool and spa fencing commence?

The Shire of Gingin will commence inspections of swimming pool and spa fencing on 1 July 2018. Property owners will be advised prior to an inspection being carried out.

If the swimming pool or spa does not have a compliant fence it will be reported to the owner. Further inspections will be made until the fencing is compliant.

Pool owners are encouraged to have their pool fencing ready for inspection prior to 1 July 2018 as further inspections and costs of prosecution may be charged to the owner if the fencing is not compliant.

Do dams, water tanks or similar on a rural property require compliant pool fencing?

Building Regulations 2012 Part 1 state:Swimming Pool’ means any excavation or structure containing water and principally used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa.

Dams, water tanks, streams and the like on a rural property used for commercial/rural purposes are not included in this definition.

Do above ground pools require a building permit and fencing?

Yes, all swimming pools and spas with a depth over 300mm of water require a building permit and fencing. An above ground pool with non-climbable walls meeting the requirements of Building Act 2011, Building Regulations 2012 and AS1926.1-2012 may only require a pool fence and gate around the pump and ladder.

Can I manufacture my own pool fencing components?

Colorbond steel fencing may be acceptable, however pool fencing and gates are required to meet strict specifications and testing, therefore obtaining the certification may not be cost effective. Details of structural drawings, structural engineering, and test certificates will be required for fencing and gates to be part of the Building Permit application process.

Reasons for the changes to pool fencing Regulations

It is not unusual for the Regulation for the fencing of pools to change to include the whole of Shires.

As the metropolitan area has expanded, many Shires including York, Northam, Toodyay and Chittering have also changed these regulations.

Due to the amount of deaths and long term injury to young children The West Australian Ombudsman recently conducted an investigation on ways to prevent these deaths. One of the recommendations (25) is that these amendments to the regulations apply to the whole of Western Australia, as per below:

Investigation into ways to prevent or reduce deaths of children by drowning - Ombudsman Western Australia Serving Parliament – Serving Western Australians - Nov 23, 2017

Recommendation 25

The Building Commissioner considers an amendment to the Building Regulations 2012 to remove excluded areas so that regulation 50(1) of the Building Regulations 2012 applies to all owners and occupiers of premises throughout Western Australia. Alternatively, if such an amendment is not considered appropriate, the Building Commissioner works with relevant local governments in excluded areas to provide accurate advice regarding the need to provide swimming pool barriers as part of the relevant building permit.

A link to Ombudsman WA Report may be found below:

Investigation into ways to prevent or reduce deaths of children by drowning 23/11/2017

http://www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/Publications/Documents/reports/Drownings/Ombudsman-WA-Investigation-Report-Drownings-23-November-2017.pdf

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Shire of Gingin Offices

Gingin

7 Brockman Street
Gingin WA 6503

T: (08) 9575 2211

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

Lancelin

255 Vins Way
Lancelin WA 6044

T: (08) 9575 5155

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

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