In a city famous for its opera house and harbour bridge, one lesser-known feature is the number of ocean pools Sydney has. These natural rock formations, sculpted by the tide, are a swimming paradise for swimmers and hikers. But what is their significance? How did they come about, and why are they so beloved by locals and visitors alike?
Krissy Moore asked a question that many of us have wondered about. “What’s with all the sdy pools along the Sydney coastline and shoreline?”
Dr Marie-Louise McDermott, an expert who has written on the subject, says that “Sydney is unique in having such a large collection of ocean pools in one city. There’s nothing else like it in the world.”
But while they are loved by locals and visitors, these iconic swim spots are not without their challenges. This was demonstrated in June when the Seaman’s Rescue Society in Sydney reported that a chemical spill at a public pool had left it covered in a toxic mix of sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid. This posed a risk to swimming and caused emergency responders to don hazmat suits before entering the building.
The incident has prompted the NSW government to launch a review of public swimming pools in Australia. The review will be led by former Lord Mayor of Sydney, Kate Baker. “Public pools are universally cherished places and embody values such as equality, diversity, tolerance and mateship,” she says. “But they are not available equitably across the community.”
According to the report, there are more than 14,000 public pools in Australia and the government is considering options for reforming the way they are managed and run. This could include making it easier to access free swimming sessions and increasing the number of places to swim. It could also involve improving the way pools are managed to ensure the safety and well-being of people using them.
While there are no plans to change the law on public swimming pools in NSW, it is likely that the government will focus on ways to encourage people to use them more. These measures may include boosting funding for the NSW government’s free swimming program, which reaches around 11,000 children a year.
A new generation of Australians is growing up with a different view of the world and a different attitude towards outdoor activities, such as swimming. This is partly due to the rise of social media, but it may also be because people are becoming more aware of how their activities can impact on the environment and are starting to make changes.
This is a good thing, but it could be causing problems for some people, particularly young swimmers. Some people are not used to swimming in the surf and are being injured, or even killed, because of this. To address this issue, the government is introducing new rules and regulations on swimming pools in schools. This will help prevent some of these injuries by requiring schools to have more supervision of children in the water.