Swimming pools offer a good way to relax and have fun, particularly in the hot summer that is experienced in Australia. Having said that it is important that the safety of the pool is guaranteed by the construction of a pool that is compliant with regulations and standards. Thus this guide contains critical rules and regulations that govern the construction of fences around pools thus helping you keep your pool area secure and free from collision.

Why Pool Fences Are Essential?

Pool fences are super important for preventing accidental drownings, especially among little kids. In Australia, drowning is one of the top causes of accidental death for kids under five. Having a solid pool fence acts as a physical barrier, reducing the chances of kids getting into the pool area without supervision. Plus, following the pool fencing regulations not only keeps everyone safe but also helps you avoid any legal trouble.

National Pool Fence Standards

In Australia, there is a national pool fencing standard, Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 which specifies the minimum safety requirements that pool barriers must meet.

Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012

AS1926.1-2012 specifies the design, construction, and performance requirements for pool fencing, including height, strength of materials, and gate operation, to ensure fences prevent unsupervised access to pools.

Key Requirements:

  • Height: A minimum of 1.2 meters high pool fences.
  • Gap Size: Fences must not have any gaps between the fence and the ground larger than 100 mm.
  • Climbable Objects: No objects that kids can climb should be within 900 mm of the fence.
  • Gate Specifications: Gates need to be self-closing and self-latching, with the latch at least 1.5 meters above the ground.
  • Strength and Durability: Fences should be strong and sturdy, able to handle different weather conditions and any accidental bumps.

So, by following these rules and making sure your pool fence meets the standards, you’re doing your part in keeping everyone safe and sound around the pool.

State-Specific Regulations

While the national standard provides a baseline, each Australian state and territory has its specific regulations and requirements.

  1. New South Wales (NSW):
    In NSW, the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 mandate that all pools must be surrounded by a fence that complies with AS1926.1-2012. Additionally, properties with a pool must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register, and a compliance certificate is required during property sales or lease agreements.
  2. Queensland:
    Queensland’s pool safety laws are outlined in the Building Act 1975 and the Queensland Development Code. Pools must have a compliant fence and undergo regular inspections by licensed pool safety inspectors. Fines are imposed for non-compliance, and a certificate of compliance is required for property transactions.
  3. Victoria:
    The Victorian Building Authority enforces the pool fence regulations under the Building Regulations 2018. All pools must have a compliant barrier, and new pools must be registered with local councils. Inspections are mandatory every four years to ensure ongoing compliance.
  4. Western Australia:
    Western Australia’s regulations are detailed in the Building Regulations 2012. Pools must have a compliant barrier, and local governments conduct inspections at regular intervals. Homeowners must ensure their pool fences meet safety standards to avoid penalties.
  5. South Australia:
    In South Australia, pool fencing requirements are governed by the Development Act 1993 and the Development Regulations 2008. Pools must have a compliant barrier, and safety inspections are conducted by local councils. Compliance certificates are necessary for property transactions.
  6. Tasmania:
    Tasmanian pool fencing regulations fall under the Building Act 2016 and the Building Regulations 2016. Pools must have barriers that meet AS1926.1-2012, and regular inspections ensure compliance. Non-compliance can result in significant fines.
  7. Australian Capital Territory (ACT):
    The ACT adheres to the Building (General) Regulation 2008 for pool safety. All pools must have a compliant barrier, and inspections are conducted to enforce regulations. Compliance is required for property sales.
  8. Northern Territory:
    In the Northern Territory, the Swimming Pool Safety Act and Swimming Pool Safety Regulations mandate that all pools have a compliant barrier. Regular inspections ensure compliance, and non-compliance can lead to hefty fines.

Common Compliance Issues

There are some common compliance issues that we see amongst pool owners and operators. These include; inappropriate gate-latching mechanisms, low fences, and climbable objects located near the pool fence. These issues can be found through routine cleaning and inspections of your pool fence and can quickly be rectified to maintain compliance.

Tips for Choosing the Right Pool Fence

Choosing the right pool fence involves considering several factors:

  • Material: Choose sturdy aluminum, glass, or steel materials that can handle the elements.
  • Design: Make sure that the pool fence design meets AS1926.1-2012 standards of height and gaps.
  • Gate Mechanism: Install self-closing and self-latching gates with secure latches.
  • Installation: Use a professional installer to ensure your pool fence meets regulatory requirements.
  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections to maintain compliance and address any wear and tear.


Safety and compliance with Australian pool regulations are paramount when it comes to avoiding accidents and legal disputes surrounding your pool area. Learn what is required nationally and by each state; as well as understanding common issues and how to remedy them quickly and easily. Make an informed decision about the type of pool fence to use and ensure you are always up to date with regulations and complying with your local state laws. Existing safely is the best way to enjoy your pool area. Maintain your pool fence as necessary to guarantee compliance well into the future.