The most ridiculous government rule you’ve ever heard – or totally necessary?

South Australians could be slapped with $500 fines, if they are found assembling inflatable pools in their backyards this summer.

South Australians could be slapped with $500 fines, if they are found assembling inflatable pools in their backyards this summer. The little-known state government rule aims to prevent children from drowning, but some Aussies say it’s over the top.

This bizarre law is included in the South Australian Development Act. It applies to any pool that can be filled to a depth of 30cm, and has a filter system. Even more strangely, regular development applications normally cost $354 and take up to six weeks for processing.

Local councils have received “less than ten” development applications for inflatable pools though. No fines have been issued yet, as according to councillors from areas like Campbelltown, “most people are unaware of the requirement”.

Got a wading pool? You may need to get council planning approval before you can inflate it and fill it with water in your backyard. Here’s more on this little known regulation …

Posted by Messenger East on Sunday, January 10, 2016


Water safety groups such as KidSafe say enforcing this law is positive, because it means more pools will be subject to council safety inspections.

“It only takes 5cm of water and a few seconds for a child to drown”, said South Australian spokeswoman Holly Fitzgerald.

“These pools are so cheap and readily available these days, so it is increasingly important to make sure that they get a safety inspection”.

Even so, everyday Aussies have been left scratching their heads.

One woman wrote online, “so much that is done in the name of safety these days is just ridiculous. There is an incident where someone gets hurt or nearly gets hurt, and this is quickly followed by a huge knee-jerk reaction”.

Whilst someone else shared a personal account: “My local council harassed my parents about an inflatable pool they had in their yard – forced them to deflate or put up a fence”.

“They had hired local pilots from the local glider club to take aerial photos of people’s backyards and then they visited any home with a visible pool”.

She continued, “my parents removed their pool. They’re in their 50s and have no kids in the home. What a joke, waste of money and invasion of privacy!”

Do you think government regulations about inflatable pools are unnecessary? Or do you think this is a reasonable safety measure?

  1. It’s not the size of the pool that matters!!! What matters, is that whenever children are near any water, they need to be SUPERVISED!!!

    • and fences are needed around pools to keep the kids out when there is no supervision

    • And everybody has fences so the kids should not be in the yards to get hurt, now should they…..if they are supervised by their parents they would not be in my yard being drowned in my grandsons 3ft deep pool. Should not be up to me to be on the lookout for someone else’s kids.

  2. what about my animals its a shell and holds 30 cm of water …the dog paddles in it and lays in it ……

  3. The price you put on your little kids life I guess. The have been around for a long time. Has any little kids been drowned in one. That would be so hard to comprehend

    • A number of children have drowned in backyard inflatables as well as inground and above ground pools.

  4. I think the key word is “filter system”. Can’t think of too many inflatables with filters.

  5. What are the statistics on kids drowning in these type of pools. I know 1 death is too many but, It is again putting money before common sense. By the time you get the permit summer will be over.

  6. The Qld pool fence regulations are bordering on ridiculous. There is no rule forcing councils to fence lakes, rivers or the ocean and yet these are very accessible. There is no substitute for active supervision!

  7. Everybody suffers because a few individuals act irresponsibly. You have small children the onus is on you to supervise and teach them. We all survived without all these laws growing up, but that was in the days when good parenting was the norm and not somebody else’s responsibility.

  8. I taught swimming for many years and you would be surprised at the amount of young mums that just don’t have any common sense when it comes to having children around water, be it a pool, lake, the ocean or your own bath. A child only has to slip face down and inhale it then takes the water straight into their little lungs, yet we hear of children drowning in the bath. There needs to be more education about drowning and how to prevent it in stead of banning these things and making everyone suffer for it.

  9. Where it comes to protecting children nothing is to over the top. As stated in above article 5cm and a few seconds is all it takes to drown especially toddlers.

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