AN OBSCURE Building Commission regulation makes it illegal to use an inflatable pool without a permanent and lockable gate.

Owners of inflatable or non-permanent pools that that can hold water to a depth of 30 centimetres must apply for a Building Commission permit for a pool fence, including a locking gate.

And Municipal Association of Victoria president Bill McArthur agrees with the regulation, saying non-permanent swimming pools should require a permit to meet safety requirements.

Mr McArthur said people would not know they were breaching state regulations if they had not built a permanent fence for inflatable pools.

“There is a clear opportunity to improve rules surrounding the sale of these pools,” Mr McArthur said. “A statewide community education campaign would also be useful.”

He said “the onus is on the owner” and if owners were required to get a permit to buy a pool, they would have a better understanding of their legal requirements.

Local government is responsible for enforcing the pool regulations. Council officers enforce regulations by following up on neighbour complaints, through random inspections and audit programs and aerial surveillance, such as Google Maps.

Bayside council spokeswoman Sue Braddy said the council encouraged all inflatable-pool owners to act responsibly when pools contained water and never leave a child unattended around water.

Failing to meet Building Commission regulations can incur fines of up to $5000.