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A Summary of Australian Balustrading Standards
  • Any structure that is 1000mm (1 meter) or higher above the surrounding ground requires a barrier (balustrading) to protect people from falling over the edge.
  • The minimum height for a balustrade is 1000mm (1 meter). It can be higher if you like.
  •  Balustrading must be constructed so that a sphere of 125mm diameter cannot be passed through any holes or gaps in the structure.
  • A balustrade protecting a fall greater than 1 meter CAN be frameless, but it requires a top rail that will meet the load requirements
  • Balustrading must be constructed so that it withstands a load of approximately 75 kilos per meter when applied to the top rail
  • If the fall (from the deck to the ground below) is greater than 4 meters (4000mm), the balustrade must have a non climbable section from 150mm above the deck to 760mm above the deck. This means you cannot have horizontal rails or protusions greater 10mm that would enable a foothold. In practical terms it means you require vertical bars or glass.
  • The minimum height on stairs is 865mm vertically above the nose of any stair. This height can transition to the 1000mm on the landing of a stair
  • The minimum height for infill (the structure between posts) or in the case of frameless glass - the glass, is 125mm measured from the nose of the stair, the shortest distance to the infill (perpendicular)
A Summary of Swimming Pool Standards
  • A swimming pool must be totally enclosed with a barrier that prevents entry to the pool, the minimum height for this fence must be 1200mm
  • Frameless glass fences are allowed around pools.
  • Should any part of the pool fence be protecting a fall of greater than 1 meter from the pool deck to the ground below, then a top rail will be required on that section of the fence
  • A deck that is above a pool deck (with no fence below) will require a 1200mm high balustrade, except if the deck is more than 4 meters above the pool (then it reverts to a 1000mm high balustrade)
  •  Fencing must be constructed so that no gap is greater than 100mm, the construction must also include no climbable areas between 100mm off the deck and 900mm off the deck.
  • The gate comes under special considerations especially if the construction is frameless or semi frameless glass. The vertical gaps between the gate and the surrounding glass or post must be no greater than 10mm.
  • The latch has to be either 1500mm above the ground, or for glass fences, more than 300mm down from the top of the gate on the inside.
  • Gates must open outwards from the pool
  • No more than 100mm gap under pool gate
  • Gate must be self closing and latching (even when only just opened)
  • No climable obstruction can be within a 1200mm centered on the top of the fence (see diagram). This means no pot plants, built up flower beds, rockeries, pool pump sheds
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