Changes to Certification Contracts

From July 1 2020, a new Building and Development Certifiers Act was legislated in NSW.

There are two main changes to be aware of:

  • Cl.30, B&DC Reg: A contract must include a declaration by the person for whom the certification work is to be carried out confirming that the person:
    • i. has freely chosen to engage the particular certifier, and
    • ii. has read the contract and any document accompanying the contract and understands the roles and responsibilities of the person and the registered certifier.
  • Cl.31, B&DC Reg: A contract must be accompanied by any applicable document published by Fair Trading  about the role and obligations of certifiers, the applicant’s role, and information available on the online  register of certifiers. 

Additional information will be published when available.

Two young brothers pulled unconscious from Brisbane pool die in hospital

Two young brothers, aged 2 and 16 months pulled unconscious from a backyard pool in Brisbane’s north earlier this month, died in hospital.

The toddlers were found at a home in Morayfield. They were in a critical condition in the Queensland Children’s Hospital paediatric intensive care unit, but passed away.

In a statement, the boys’ parents said they were thankful for the support of hospital staff during the ordeal.

“It is with great sadness that we advise that our boys are no longer with us,” the statement said.

“Our family is incredibly grateful for the support and care provided by staff of the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

“We ask the media to please respect our family’s privacy at this sad time.”

Authorities are working to determine how both the boys ended up in the pool.

Footage showed the backyard pool was completely surrounded by a high metal fence.


On September 1, 2018, the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 of NSW was revoked and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 took effect.

Under the new Regulation 2018, the following changes occured :

  1. The local authorities can now of charge fees for the third and every succeeding swimming pool inspections.
  2. The maximum fees for exemption applications that the local authorities may impose will be increased to equal the maximum fee charged for the first pool inspection.
  3. Homeowners are obligated to display a warning notice during swimming pool constructions. Failure to comply is a chargeable offence.
  4. Improvements to the CPR / Warning Notices previously required by The Act.
  5. Improvements on the accessibility of the public to all relevant Australian Standards, and not just limited to AS 1926.1 – 2007.
  6. Improvements to make the Swimming Pools Regulation more flexible and to clarify some of its aspects.
  7. Certificates of non-compliance are required to be included in the Swimming Pools Register.

Pool Registration Fine

Federal Senator David Leyonhjelm has been ordered by a Magistrate to pay the City of Canada Bay $4,300 including court costs for refusing to register a pool at his Drummoyne home. Council had previously sent three notices to the Senator asking him to register his pool plus a fine of $220. Registration of pools in NSW has been compulsory since November 2013.

Toddler drowns in Sydney backyard pool

A toddler has drowned after she was pulled unconscious from a backyard swimming pool in Sydney’s west.

The girl, two, was pulled from the water on Wednesday evening 9th January 2019 and was treated by paramedics at the scene but later died in hospital, AAP reports.

Emergency services were called to a home on Greenbank Drive in Werrington Downs just before 8pm. She was rushed to Nepean Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Police have established a crime scene at the Sydney home. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Toddler drowns in backyard pool in Port Stephens

A toddler has drowned in a backyard pool in Port Stephens on Sunday evening 16th December 2018 as reported by Rachel Clun of The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 19-month-old boy was in the backyard of a home on Marsh Road in Bobs Farm with his father when he managed to slip unnoticed into the pool.

The family called emergency services about 6.40pm after they found the boy unconscious in the water, and they performed CPR until paramedics arrived, a police spokeswoman said.

Paramedics then took over, but the boy could not be revived.

Officers from Port Stephens Police District established a crime scene and began investigating the circumstances around the death, but police say initial investigations suggest there were no suspicious circumstances involved.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

Swimming Pools Regulation 2018

These are the main changes introduced with the Swimming Pool Regulation 2018 that affect certification work:

  • Certifiers must record details for certificates of non-compliance on the Swimming Pool Register within three days of inspection.
  • Pool barriers may comply with the BCA using deemed-to-satisfy or performance solution pathways.
  • Occupiers must display a warning notice while a pool is under construction.
  • More flexibility in how spa pools can be secured.
  • Minor changes to warning notice requirements.

For further details, go to

Awareness campaign for portable pool fencing needed: Tasmanian coroner

By Natalie Whiting – ABC

A coroner has called for a public awareness campaign about the requirement for portable pools to be fenced following the drowning of an 18-month-old boy in Hobart.

Kobie Ryder Blackaby died in February 2014 after falling into an inflatable pool that had less than 50 centimetres of water in it.

His father, Timothy Blackaby, found him floating in the water and despite performing CPR with the help of friends and neighbours was unable to revive him.

It is thought the little boy got out of the house while other older children were opening the front door.

The pool the baby boy was found in was not inflated fully.

Coroner Olivia McTaggart said it was likely the boy leaned against the side of the pool, which then collapsed, allowing him to fall in.

Once inside the pool, the inflatable rings would have returned to their normal position, trapping him.

Ms McTaggart said the death may have been prevented if the pool had been fenced in.

She has recommended that responsible state and local government bodies incorporate into existing water safety strategies a public education campaign to highlight the requirement to fence portable and inflatable pools.

The coroner also noted there appeared to have been a rise in the number of inflatable backyard pools in Tasmania following the introduction of cheaper and smaller options into the market.

She has recommended relevant authorities monitor any increase, and develop and implement water safety strategies for them.

Bid to get pool buyers to join register

Royal Life Saving Tasmania shared the coroner’s concerns that sales of inflatable pools were on the rise.

Executive director Paula Robertson said it was looking at a collaborative program with state and local governments to track portable pool sales.

“We are looking at undertaking to encourage purchasers of inflatable pools to register their details on a statewide database upon purchase, to implement specific campaigns and awareness campaigns and actually identify the number of pools being sold within Tasmania,” she said.

Ms Robertson said information about where the pools were being bought would be invaluable.

“We’d be able to actually monitor how many pools are within the area and within the state, and we’d be able to start rolling out some of our campaigns around water safety and water awareness within those areas, particularly to communities where we can see high numbers of pools being purchased,” she said.

Backyard pool deaths should bring criminal charges, Queensland coroner says

A Queensland coroner who investigated the drowning of a young boy after a pool fence gate was deliberately propped open wants the State Government to consider introducing new criminal laws.

Four year old William Corben drowned while swimming in his neighbour’s pool on the Gold Coast in early 2015. He died in March 2015 when his life support system was turned off.

A recent inquest has found that his death was preventable.

In handing down his findings, deputy coroner John Lock said the pool gate had been propped open, which enabled the child to re-enter the pool unnoticed and drown. He said propping open pool gates was a bad practice and needed to be stopped.

A safety bracket that prevented the opening of a screen door from a bedroom to the pool area had also been removed after an inspection of the property in July 2014, the coroner heard.

Outside court, William’s mother said the family wanted his death investigated to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding deliberate breaches to pool safety barriers.

The family’s lawyer Jason Jacobson, said there was a message that needed to be thought about by all pool owners. “These barriers, these gates are there for a reason and if there’s a preventable death on your property that is caused by your action or inaction, there may also be consequences,” he said.

“We hope that people keep their gates shut and they keep the supervision up and these toddlers will stop drowning.”

Katherine Plint, the chief executive of Hannah’s Foundation, an organisation that raises awareness of drowning prevention and support services, said if people were found to have propped their pool gate open and a child dies, that person should be charged with manslaughter.

Why all the fuss about pool certification in 2015?

Swimming pool safety legislation can be complicated. It’s estimated that 90% of NSW swimming pools do not comply with state safety regulations, and the numbers of drownings and near drownings every year in the greater Sydney area alone are concerning. Urgent reform is needed to make more Sydney and NSW pools safe, and force owners to ensure their pools and fencing are registered and certified as complying with safety laws.

Despite the safety concerns, however, the NSW Government often finds its hands are tied when it comes to enforcing pool registration. In February of this year, legislators were forced to flip-flop once again, just six weeks before the registration deadline.

A shortage of qualified inspectors meant that swimming pool owners were unlikely to be able to certify their pools in time. There were also fears that there weren’t enough skilled tradesmen to support a last minute, state-wide rush to get certified. The deadline for swimming pool and spa certification in NSW has been pushed back to April 2016.
But what does this mean for NSW pool owners in Sydney and elsewhere? Well, if you haven’t yet had your pool inspected by an accredited certifier like Pool Certification Sydney, there’s good news and bad.

The good news is that you have a few more months to get in touch with a certified professional to inspect your pool and help you make sure that it complies with all safety legislation. The bad news is that if you miss the April deadline, you could find yourself in the position of not being able to sell or rent out your house because of a non-complying pool! Why not avoid the rush and have your pool certified now?

With an estimated 90% of NSW and Sydney swimming pools not meeting the safety regulations requirements, you can bet that you’ll need an inspection from someone with experience very soon. With the help of a qualified certifier, you can finally make sure that your pool complies and that you and your family are safe around the pool. Get in touch with us now for an inspection.