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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Support for Ballina ocean pool ‘overwhelming’

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Ocean pools remain a popular attraction, although none has been built in NSW for 40 years. Proponents of an ocean pool at Ballina are hoping to buck the trend. Photo contributed
Ocean pools remain a popular attraction, although none has been built in NSW for 40 years. Proponents of an ocean pool at Ballina are hoping to buck the trend. Photo contributed

Darren Coyne

Supporters of an ocean pool in Ballina are hoping it could become a reality within a year.

The Ballina Shire Council’s reserve trust committee will decide on Wednesday whether to make the Ballina Ocean Pool Committee a delegated committee.

Cr Jeff Johnson said this would allow the ocean pool supporters to act on behalf of the reserve trust, which is responsible for the rock shelf between Shelley and Lighthouse beaches – the preferred site for an ocean pool.

Cr Johnson said there had been overwhelming community support for the idea since it was first mooted.

If it becomes a reality, the Ballina ocean pool would be the first to be constructed in New South Wales since the 1970s.

‘We’ve got university professors, engineers, a planner and a local construction company supporting this so plenty of professionals have offered to help us prepare reports and applications,’ he said.

‘We just need the official recognition (from the council’s reserve trusts committee).

Supporters are pushing for a 50 metre by 20 metre pool on the rock shelf between Shelley and Lighthouse beaches.

Jeff Johnson.
Jeff Johnson.

Cr Johnson said it could be built for less than a million dollars.

‘We’ve already had the site surveyed and it has been listed on the curriculum of the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania, which is one of the leading colleges when it comes to the ocean and associated infrastructure.

Cr Johnson said an ocean pool would be free to use, provide a safe swimming environment, with no chlorine or chemicals.

It would also keep out sharks.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Editor
    I am a long time member and past President of the Cronulla Polar Bears Winter Swimming Club in Sydney South and our 50yard Rock pool was destroyed in big seas in 1989 and a new 50metre Rock pool was built in its place in1990/1. Just for the record.
    Regards
    Michael Ryan
    0413 817 382

  2. As long as no-one other than Ballina residents and Ballina council pay for the pool I have no issue.
    But there is probably good reason why it’s been 45+ years since an ocean pool was last built and that reason surely revolves around cost. Not just construction cost but maintenance cost, insurance liability cost and regular patrol.
    The photos used for the above article are both pools at Coogee Beach; one which was built by private enterprise and is still pay-to-enter (and it is patrolled by lifeguards regularly); the other pool is south end of Coogee Beach directly under the Coogee SLS Clubhouse and therefore patrolled pretty much all the time.
    I believe it would be absolutely irresponsible of local government to build a sea pool and not have it patrolled; even the chlorinated council public pools have appropriately certificates lifeguards.
    So Ballina may get their pool but at what cost and who pays, I ask? And is it going to be worth it!

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