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New Victorian Pool Spa Fence LawsAs announced on Neil Mitchell’s 3AW Melbourne radio program this morning, SPASA Victoria are today elated at the State Government’s decision to implement a mandatory pool and spa barrier inspection program in place of the proposed retrospective barrier legislation.

This decision comes after a long-running campaign by SPASA Victoria - and other leading industry stakeholders - who have stridently promoted the importance of a mandatory pool and spa barrier inspection program in Victoria for many years.

It was only six months ago that SPASA Victoria - along with many other industry stakeholders - were shocked at the Government’s announcement of proposed legislation which would compel pool and spa owners to comply retrospectively with safety barrier laws, forcing thousands of people to endure the inconvenience and expense of re-fencing their pool and/or spa areas for no guaranteed improved safety outcome.

“It is with delight that the decision to implement a mandatory barrier inspection program and reverse the proposal of retrospective barrier legislation has been made by the State Government,” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Brendan Watkins.

“We are pleased that the Andrews Government has listened and respected the research, knowledge and experience of those within the pool and spa industry. After many years of being ignored on this topic, this is a victory for SPASA Victoria as well as all of the industry stakeholders, particularly Kidsafe and Lifesaving Victoria. A mandatory pool & spa barrier inspection program will save lives.”

After years of heavy media promotion along with highly strategic behind-the-scenes advocacy, the hard work and passion of those within the pool and spa industry has finally paid off.

The Andrews Government will introduce this new legislation to parliament in June, and the new mandatory pool and spa register and inspection regime will be in place by the 2019 summer season.

Under this regulatory overhaul, households will need to register their pool or spa with their local council and declare their pool barriers compliant. A regular regime of inspections as frequent as every three years will then be enforced.

Victorian Government Media Release - Overhaul To Keep Kids Safe Around Pools And Spas
SPASA Victoria Media Release - SPASA Victoria Claims Victory - 6 April 2018​


For further information please contact:

Brendan Watkins, CEO SPASA - 0417 385 929

New Victorian Pool Spa Fence LawsSPASA Victoria is Today Celebrating a Huge Win for Victorian Pool & Spa Owners - and the Industry as a Whole

The proposed ‘Retrospective’ pool barrier upgrade laws have been abandoned by State Government due to SPASA's extensive advocacy campaign.

The final decision on a mandatory barrier inspection program in Victoria will be announced shortly. It is hoped State Government continues to see merit in the significant safety enhancement provided by a regular inspection program of residential pool and spa barriers.

Six months ago SPASA - along with several industry stakeholders - was shocked at the Government’s announcement of draft legislation which was to compel pool and spa owners to comply with 'retrospective' safety barrier laws. It would have compelled many thousands of pool and spa owners to upgrade their barriers to comply to current regulations by 2020 - for no guaranteed improved safety outcome.

"By abandoning retrospective barrier laws, Minister Richard Wynne has made an informed decision that will save undue hardship on tens of thousands of Victorian pool and spa owners. The voice of reason has been heard. There is scant evidence that retrospective barrier laws would save lives. However, mandatory barrier inspections undoubtedly enhance toddler safety outcomes – this is clearly the legislation Government must introduce.

Government have got it half right – walking away from the unproven retrospective laws is sensible. The problem in Victoria is that pool fences aren’t being maintained. The majority of Australian pools and spas are covered by a mandatory barrier regime. It’s time for Victorian State Government to get on board," says Brendan Watkins, CEO of SPASA Victoria.

Wide Ranging New Victorian Building Regulations to Commence on 2 June 2018

Every ten years, Victorian legislation requires that existing building regulations be reviewed and remade - this process is known as “sunsetting”. In May 2017 the Victorian Government released a consultation version of new Building Regulations. SPASA Victoria provided information to members about this version last year and made a submission to Government in response to what was proposed.

The 10 Key Areas of Regulatory Change Are:

  1. New forms and further requirements to make sure that the permits, orders and notices include the information that is needed
  2. The Regulations have been modernised for the electronic use of documents for permits
  3. Updated requirements for the chief officer, RBSs and building practitioners in relation to documenting performance solutions
  4. New building permit reporting requirements commencing on 1 July 2019
  5. New obligations for the RBS to provide notice 30 days prior to a building permit lapsing to minimise lapsed permits
  6. Clear obligations on the RBS and the owner to inform the adjoining owner about protection work
  7. Introducing a new mandatory notification stage and inspections if the building work includes fire and smoke resistant building elements, which are lightweight construction in multi-storey residential buildings, and service penetrations in multi-storey residential and healthcare buildings. The Regulations also clarify the prescribed mandatory notification stages for demolition work or the construction of a pool
  8. The Regulations clarify the obligations of owners in relation to ESM maintenance, and encourage the uptake of maintenance schedules to simplify information for the owner. They also clarify the notification requirements in relation to pool barriers
  9. As-of-right construction of a Class 10a building with a floor area not exceeding 10m2 on undeveloped land
  10. Formalising the process for granting a determination to treat two or more allotments as a single allotment for the purpose of a building permit application
SPASA will shortly receive a briefing from the VBA on the detail of the above.
We will keep members posted on the detail of these amendments as soon as they come to hand.

2013 SPASA Victoria Logo blueAlways Choose a SPASA Member!

Former AFL star Nick Stevens faces an investigation by the State building watchdog amid claims he owes substantial money to suppliers and has ripped off Mildura pool buyers.

The investigation centres on allegations his business ‘Leisure Pools Mildura’ installed swimming pools without permits. Police spokesperson Alex Day states in yesterday’s Herald Sun article that, “Police are investigating reports of alleged deception”.

Sunraysia Daily News claims, “Several customers who paid deposits to ‘Leisure Pools Mildura’ have been left with incomplete pools. Fibreglass pool shell supplier ‘Leisure Pools and Spas Manufacturing’ said it received complaints and now alleges the former Carlton and Port Adelaide player owes it a significant amount of money.”

For consumers who are about to undertake the exciting journey of building a swimming pool or spa, it is recommended that they carefully read the important information contained in the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) website:

CEO of SPASA, Brendan Watkins, says “The only way consumers can ensure a seamless construction of their backyard pool or spa is to contract a registered Pool Builder Member of SPASA Victoria. There are many industry-unique regulations, safety issues and mandatory insurances that come as standard with a VBA-registered Pool Builder.”

“Those that cut corners and go ‘Owner Builder’ - or worse - don’t obtain permits, are exposing themselves to significant safety and financial pain.  The association publishes a large array of free consumer advice, found HERE,” Mr Watkins said.

Here are the three questions consumers should always ask of their practitioner prior to engaging them:

  • “Are You A Registered Building Practitioner?”
  • “Are you a SPASA Pool Builder Member?”
  • “Do you use a SPASA Pool Construction Contract?”

SPASA Victoria members are at the forefront of the industry in regards to their experience, professionalism and reputation.

Bound by the Association’s strict Code of Ethics, all SPASA members have a demonstrated history of successful ethical trading and knowledge appropriate to their membership category. Consumers should look for the SPASA member logo to ensure they are dealing with an industry professional.

SPASA Pool Builder Members are pool builders with appropriate experience, practitioner registration and insurances. In order to become a member of the association they are required to demonstrate exemplary trade and consumer references.

SPASA Pool Builder Members also agree to perform all work in accordance with Australian Standards, and to meet all legal requirements. Only SPASA Pool Builder Members can issue you with a SPASA contract.

Anyone involved in a building project deserves to be confident in the practitioner they engage. It is in the best interests of practitioners AND consumers that only registered practitioners are used. Always check that your practitioner is registered.

Here are seven signs that your practitioner is Unregistered

If a building practitioner is not registered, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) can prosecute through the court system. The VBA website holds registration details of all registered practitioners, so it is easy to verify that a registration is current and that the practitioner is appropriately qualified to conduct the task for which they are being employed.

If you become aware of anyone offering to provide services without being registered, or you suspect there may be a registration issue, you can contact the VBA via the website or by phone on 1300 815 127.

Details of all Registered Building Practitioners are available on the VBA website at

Sunraysia Daily online news article ‘Nick Stevens under investigation: Former AFL star in pool probe’

Sunraysia Daily news article ‘Paperwork Before Pools – Stevens Faces Pool Probe’ – Saturday 3 March 2018

Herald Sun News - Police probe ex-AFL player Nick Stevens for deception

SPASA Victoria website Fact Sheet - The Questions You Should Ask

SPASA Victoria Fact Sheet – SPASA Members – The Industry Professionals

Buyer Beware: Kit Pools & Unregistered Pool Builders

Kit Pools & Owner Builders - Traps for Consumers

SPASA Victoria Media Release - AFL Star Pool Probe Highlights Unregistered Builder Danger - 7 March 2018

Expo post 4With Melbourne’s property market predicted to climb by up to 12% in 20181, renovators are set to flock to the SPASA Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 2 – 4 February 2018.

As experts estimate, pools can add a minimum of $140,000 to a property’s value2 . Melburnians are expected to ride the wave of home renovation to record returns in 2018.

Consumers looking for the latest and greatest in pools, spas and landscaping solutions are set to come in droves to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Pool & Spa Expo this February. From homeowners seeking to add value to their properties and families eager to make the most of scorching Summers, the Expo is perfect for outdoor renovation inspiration.

Promising to provide inspiration from the backdoor to the back fence, the Outdoor Design Junction welcomes the industry’s best high-end pool and landscape designers, as well as an array of suppliers showcasing their most premium wares.

Back by popular demand, The Show Garden brings the Junction to life as a collaboration of renowned talent showcase their design capability. Headlined by esteemed landscape designer Justine Carlile, the space will feature a stunning garden complete with a deck, pool, pergola and bench seating - designed so that consumers can visualise the potential for their own outdoor environment.

With new features from over 80 exhibitors, visitors can expect to dive into a world of the latest innovations in:

  • Plunge pools and swim spas
  • Home landscaping
  • Kid-friendly water slides
  • Gazebos and pergolas
  • Green energy and solar solutions
  • Infrared saunas
  • Alfresco dining spaces, kitchens and gardens
  • Pool fencing and enclosures
  • Robotic pool cleaners and filtering systems

And of course, every kind of pool imaginable - from concrete to fibreglass, seamless in-ground, stunning glass-edged and much more!

“We are seeing an increased demand for the trend we call ‘leisure-scaping’. Home renovators are looking for holistic outdoor solutions that integrate entertaining spaces with slick design, statement water features and areas to recline and relax. That is why we have united the best landscape designers, pool builders and premium outdoor accessories in one place at the Pool and Spa Expo”, says Expo Director Marie Kinsella.

“Not only have we given home renovators the tools to create their dream outdoor space, we have engaged Justine to show visitors how easily all these elements can be combined in the feature Show Garden”.

In addition to an estimated 30 pools and spas on-site, guests will also get the chance to speak to seasoned experts and attend free seminars on the best renovation solutions to suit their lifestyles and budgets.

For full information on all exhibitors, products and to book tickets, visit  

Dates: Friday 2 February – Sunday 4 February 2018
Venue: Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre
Times: Friday 2 February – 12noon – 8pm Saturday 3 February – 10am – 7pm Sunday 4 February – 10am – 6pm

Presale ticket prices: Book at
Adults $17.50
Children under 16 Free
Tickets at door $19.50



shutterstock 151744823 torpedo man smallPeople who live near a gym or a swimming pool are slimmer, research shows.

The more fitness facilities close to your home, and the further you are from the nearest takeaway, the healthier you are likely to be, experts say.

Those with at least six facilities close by had a 1.22cm smaller waist circumference, BMI of 0.57 points lower, and body fat percentage that was 0.81 per cent lower, on average.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers looked at 400,000 UK adults aged 40 to 70 and say urbanisation is a key driver of obesity.

Here are two articles relating to this report:

Living Near Physical Activity Facilities Linked to Smaller Waistline, Lower BMI and Lower Body Fat Percentage

City Link To Obesity

SPASA Victoria Media Release referencing those two articles

Click HERE for more ideas and inspiration on why you should own a pool or spa

shutterstock 140089714 kids jumping into pool small shutterstock 109559558 closeup small shutterstock 115618855 mother and child small shutterstock 515212096 old lady excercising small

2017 Pool and Spa Logo low resIf you're in the market to improve your health and lifestyle - as well as the look of your backyard - don't miss SPASA Victoria's Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo, on at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from Friday 2 February to Sunday 4 February 2018.

The demand for pools, spas, landscape design and water features is growing, with many Australians turning what was once an uninspiring and neglected space into their own backyard oasis.

“A swimming pool or spa is now considered a ‘must have’ addition to any new or renovated home, as Australians are increasingly spending more time entertaining and socialising in the privacy of their own backyard,” said Brendan Watkins, CEO of SPASA. 

“The SPASA Pool & Spa Expo + Outdoor Living is the biggest consumer event in the industry and is the place for prospective buyers to see, experience and compare a myriad of innovative ideas which can help transform their backyard into a unique outdoor haven,” he added.

Come along to get expert advice and the best deals on swimming pools, spas, swim spas, pool equipment, heaters, automated cleaning systems, accessories and landscaping ideas to help create your dream backyard.

With an extensive range of products, services and industry experts on hand, the time spent visiting the show could be the best investment you'll make all year. Compare the latest range of swim spas and portable spas and find out more about the therapeutic and health benefits of modern day spas. Compare all the options in pools from concrete to fibreglass, above ground and pre engineered pools.

A series of free seminars held across the three days of the show will cover a comprehensive range of topics. Visitors to the Expo will also have the opportunity to ask questions about their pool or spa plans and seek FREE professional advice from SPASA members.

Plus, go into the draw to win a FREE Swim Spa, courtesy of SPASA Member Just Spas.

Don't miss the SPASA Pool, Spa + Outdoor Living Expo. Buy discounted tickets HERE


Dates:            Friday 2 February – to Sunday 4 February 2018

Venue:           Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre
                       2 Clarendon St, Southbank

Times:           Friday 2 February 12pm - 8pm

                      Saturday 3 February 10am - 7pm

                      Sunday 4 February 10am - 6pm

Ticket prices:          

Ticket price online $17.50
Ticket price at the Door $19.50
Children under 16 FREE
Concession (Pensioners & Students) available at the door

Tickets: or at the door

Further information:

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