15-27 – Review of Swimming Pool Barrier Requirements

What’s new or changing?

  • The Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP, has commissioned an independent review of backyard swimming pool barrier requirements to increase backyard pool safety.

What this will mean for your council

  • Councils are encouraged to provide information about backyard pool safety and compliance through the review process.

Key points

  • Advice from industry bodies such as the Swimming Pools and Spas Association of NSW and ACT strongly encouraged a regulatory review due to the high-level of non-compliance for backyard pool barriers.
  • The review will be led by Mr Michael Lambert who is a former Secretary of NSW Treasury, and who is currently reviewing the Building Professionals Act 2005.
  • Compliance with and enforcement of pool fence requirements will be closely examined by Mr Lambert, who will also examine the approach in other jurisdictions. Mr Lambert will report to the Minster by the end of 2015.
  • The review aims to simplify the regulatory framework and encourage greater barrier compliance in order to reduce child drowning deaths and near drowning injuries.
  • Details about consultation with local councils, water safety advocates, peak industry bodies and government agencies will be available shortly.

Where to go for further information

  • Further information, including terms of reference for the review, is available from the Office of Local Government’s website at

Marcia Doheny
Chief Executive