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 or spa

Your swimming pool or spa will fall into one of the following three categories. Please select the one that applies to you:

1.  You have a swimming pool/spa with a fence/barrier that is already included in the Shire of Gingin’s mandatory 4-yearly inspection program.

You need to do nothing.

2.  You have a swimming pool/spa with a fence/barrier that is not included in the Shire of Gingin’s mandatory 4-yearly inspection program.

You need to notify the Shire of Gingin in writing by email or letter.                                                      

The Shire of Gingin staff will contact you to book a swimming pool barrier inspection. When your swimming pool barrier passes the inspection your compliant swimming pool barrier will then be included in the Shire of Gingin’s mandatory 4-yearly inspection program. Incorporating the pool into the inspection program will assist in ensuring that safety barriers comply with the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Regulations 2012.

PLEASE NOTE - the Shire of Gingin is keen to assist all parties achieve compliant safety barriers in the circumstances. Details of the requirements are detailed in the Building Commission 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.

 3.  You have a swimming pool/spa that does not have a fence/barrier.

You need to notify the Shire of Gingin in writing by email or letter.

You will need to install a compliant swimming pool/spa fence/barrier and advise the Shire of Gingin Building Department when it is complete.       

Please note that a building permit from the Shire of Gingin is not required for existing pools/spas, however barriers must still be registered to be included on the Shire's 4-yearly inspection program.                                                               

The Shire of Gingin staff will then contact you to book a swimming pool barrier inspection. When your swimming pool barrier passes the inspection your compliant swimming pool barrier will then be included in the Shire of Gingin’s mandatory 4-yearly inspection program.  Incorporating the pool into the inspection program will assist in ensuring that safety barriers comply with the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Regulations 2012.

PLEASE NOTE - the Shire of Gingin is keen to assist all parties achieve compliant safety barriers in the circumstances. Details of the requirements are detailed in the Building Commission 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.                                                                

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 contacted prior to an inspection being carried out to book a suitable time for the inspection.

If the swimming pool or spa does not have a compliant fence it will be reported to the owner to carry out the required adjustments. Pool owners are encouraged to have their pool fencing ready for inspection prior to 1 July 2018 as further costs for inspections 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 compliant fencing. An above ground pool with non-climbable walls meeting the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Regulations 2012 may only require a pool fence and gate around the pump and ladder.

Can I manufacture my own pool fencing components?

Property owners can construct a swimming pool barrier/fence. However swimming pool barriers and gates are required to meet strict specifications. Please make sure the proposed barrier will be compliant to the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Regulations 2012 prior to construction.

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

Yued Country Moore River Region