Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    New pool safety laws to start December 1

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    New pool safety laws to start December 1

    The second and final stage of Queensland’s tough new swimming pool safety laws will come into effect on 1 December 2010, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.

    Mr Hinchliffe said the new laws, which include mandatory pool safety certificates and inspections, would be in place in time for the first day of summer. He said the laws would help save lives and make Queensland pools even safer.

    “While supervision will always be the first level of protection for young children, coronial inquiry after coronial inquiry shows that supervision by itself is not enough,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “That’s why the State Government introduced stage one of the tough new pool laws on 1 December 2009, with stage two to take effect from 1 December this year.

    “Under the new laws, pool owners will have five years to make sure their pool complies with the pool safety standard unless they sell or lease the property first.

    “If the seller hasn't provided a compliance certificate, the owner of the pool is required to get a current pool safety certificate within 90 days.

    “The maximum penalty for non-compliance is $16,500.

    “For shared pools associated with short-term accommodation, such as
    hotels, motels, backpackers or hostels, a six month phase-in period applies to obtain a pool safety certificate.”'

    He said the new laws would be phased in over a five year period to give home
    owners time to adjust. For shared pools under a body corporate, a two year phase in period will apply before a safety certificate is required at the point of sale or lease.

    Pool safety certificates will last for two years for a non-shared pool (e.g. house) and one year for a shared pool (e.g. where the pool is associated with a unit) regardless of how many times it is re-leased or sold in that period.

    Mr Hinchliffe said there would be some flexibility for pool owners.

    "Impracticality and disability exemptions will be available under the new laws from 1 December and pool owners seeking an exemption can start discussing this with their local government now", Mr Hinchliffe said.

    "Impracticality exemptions will only be available where compliance with the pool safety standard is not practicable.”

    Queenslanders interested in becoming licensed pool safety inspectors have enrolled in Pool Safety Council-approved courses. The first round of participants undertaking an AssentTECS course in Brisbane completed their course on 14 October.

    AssentTECS, the first training provider to be approved, is holding rigorous four-day swimming pool safety inspector training course around Queensland, including at Cairns, Longreach, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Roma, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

    Course participants will learn about the new legislation and how to apply it in “real” case studies. Details of the AssentTECS course are available at

    Mr Hinchliffe said other course providers were expected to come online shortly.

    “Anyone wishing to be a pool safety inspector must obtain a certificate of competency from an eligible course provider before applying to the Pool Safety Council,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “They must then obtain a high score in a test set by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, and have the required professional indemnity insurance. Pool owners can be assured that the person who comes to inspect their pools will have the appropriate credentials.

    “The swimming pool safety inspector training course and test is tough and challenging because children’s lives are at stake. We will not cutting any corners when it comes to pool safety.’’

    In addition, more than 300 existing licensed building certifiers will be automatically licensed for a period of one year as pool safety inspectors.

    Stage two includes:

    • Mandatory inspections by local governments for immersion incidents of children under five in swimming pools. These incidents will be reported by hospitals and the Queensland Ambulance Service, including voluntary reporting by doctors and nurses
    • Child resistant doors that form part of the pool barrier will need to be replaced with a fence
    • councils will no longer be able to have local pool safety laws where state laws apply
    • wider application of pool safety laws to include indoor pools and pools associated with hotels, motels, caretaker residences, caravan parks, backpackers, hostels, mobile home parks and homestays
    • all swimming pools must be included, within six months, on a state-based pool register
    • fencing for all portable pools and spas deeper than 300 millimetres

    More information at

    Media: 3227 8425