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February 3, 2023

Ballina Coastcare to protest against ocean pool

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Lennox based artist, Mark Waller has created a painting of what an ocean pool at Ballina could look like.

The Ballina Coastcare’s ocean pool opposition organisation say that Shelly Beach has one of only two rock platforms in the Shire where young children can interact with marine creatures.

The Ballina Coastcare’s Ocean Pool spokesperson Cathy Byrne says the shires already has one of the largest ocean pools in the country – Shaws Bay. ‘Let’s leave the beach rocks alone.’

Ms Byrne says that recently, the Shire has invested nearly $20 million in swimming sites. ‘We cannot afford another,’ she said. ‘Despite their attraction, ocean pools (like those in Newcastle and Sydney) can no longer be built, due to environmental and safety requirements. Most were built to employ returned soldiers during the Great Depression.

A fenced pool on Shelly Beach would be ‘horrible’

‘Back then, leaded petrol cars could park on the sand and pools did not require fences. A fenced pool on Shelly Beach would be horrible, for all beach goers.

Ms Byrne says new job creation should focus on renewable energy; bushland regeneration, fire management; public electric transport, food production and healthy outdoor spaces, not risky construction on a small strip of low lying beach basalt. ‘Damage to intertidal habitats of crabs, shell fish, insects, birds, fish, bait weed, cunjevoi, star-fish, anemone, and even distant mammals, is too risky.

‘Considering predicted sea-level rises, damage from storm surge tree stumps, fish kill cleaning, and lifeguard services, an ocean pool is economically unwise. Ratepayers will have to pay high insurance and maintenance costs.’

Yamba pool cost $530,000 in repairs

Ms Byrne says that Australia’s newest ocean pool, built by Clarence Council in Yamba in 1969, has cost $530,000 on repairs in the past five years and has an annual cleaning budget of nearly $50,000.

‘Some councils in NSW have had to remove live sharks and rotting whale carcasses from ocean pools. Many regularly clean out stingers, rays and rotting cunjevoi.

‘Councils are already under pressure to upgrade infrastructure, prepare for coastal retreat, and improve facilities. We need to protect the environment as well as ratepayers.

‘Ocean pool construction is part of a bygone era. Bulldozing the beach for a new pool is not ok.’

A protest against the ocean pool will be held at Shelly Beach on Saturday, February 1 at 8.30 am.

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  1. Actually just came back fro Towradgi on south coast- great ocean pool with amazing intertidal marine life. I think it is a great idea and remembering when I studied intertidal marine life at uni there recovery rate is fantastic as they live in extreme conditions. I think we need to build it as the arguments above are not compelling.

  2. Terrible spot for a pool, will fill with sand and like other ocean pools cost about 100k per year to clean with excavators.

    I’ve pictures of the site from Feb 2019 where it’s underwater by a couple of meters. Ballina gets big swells up to 6m high.. pool will be trashed.

    And it’s ugly.

    Swim in Shaws Bay,, been there for years, safe and just been refurbished. Looks awesome

    • Totally agree Maria. When are us as a society learn that we cannot keep wrecking the enviroment and not have it effect things for future generations. Once you stuff this up (the pool) you can’t take it back. They can’t fix the rock platform once they have hammered into it & distroyed it! The “lovely” picture representing the pool is a painted artists impression, NOT what it is gong to end up looking like at all ?

  3. I live in Ballina, pay my rates and I strongly object to the construction of the ocean pool that’s being considered for Shelley Beach rocks.

    That area is a stunningly beautiful part of Ballina, that many kids and adults (local and tourists) enjoy exploring, an ocean pool will completely destroy that! Plus there will be an environmental impact as well.

    There are plenty of safe swimming options in the Ballina Shire; Shaws Bay, The Serpentine, Lake Ainsworth and the newly upgraded Ballina pool, where people can swim laps, or families can swim feeling safe. Why waste more money on an ocean pool that will require regular and ongoing maintenance, costing us even more money!

    The newest ocean pool was built in Yamba over 50 years ago! They’re outdated and completely unnecessary!

  4. Are you kidding me ppl still want to take away the one place our kids have left to learn about marine life every school takes the kids there to explore the rocks my daughter is happy for hours looking in each little bit and asking what’s this mum like seriously leave nature alone we already have on pool and it’s always filled with sand due to rough sea levels

  5. Build it..we need it….where would you rarher be during these heatwaves.
    The whole family in a Free Safe Beach Pool…
    Op the new Shellys beach Resteraunt..(maby one day)
    Put ballina on the Map…..

  6. I do not live in Ballina, but I do take my family their to holiday every year as we love it! I would much rather take my children to the natural rock pools then to the beach pool. There are plenty of other places to swim, like the amazing Shaws Bay, or laps in the well looked after 50m pool. From a visitor’s point of view, I don’t see a need for an ocean pool.

  7. Ballina has a beautiful natural environment. Let’s work together to preserve it in any way we can. Our children will thank us for it.

  8. Why when we have the best beaches, Shaws Bay which has recently been updated and so many more people using this area since the upgrade, it’s safe, and it’s tidal.
    The other two beaches on either side of the bridge are just great for young children and I have noticed they are being used far more than I have seen in the past. I believe we could better spend the money on something much more beneficial to the locals of the Ballina Shire, just to name a few our roads and the tall trees hanging over Fenwick Drive, soon this will result in an accident.
    We also have an upgraded pool what more could you possibly need here in Ballina

  9. Lets hurry up and build this pool its designd to self clean and will be a huge credit for the Ballina Shire Council..
    All the anti pool people will be the first. ones in it..And i will take there pic n publish it…….lol
    Well done Mark Waller for a great Virsion of the finish pool…..Carnt Wait….


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