In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, outdoor exercise has become so important for our mental and physical well-being.
But for regular swimmers, the lockdown rules have limited many safe options for people to exercise in our community - including the closure of Dawn Fraser Baths.
While ocean pools in the eastern suburbs are open, Dawny has remained closed because it is a wooden construction that sits over the harbour rather than a natural pool. This is an arbitrary rule that doesn’t seem to have much justification on health grounds.
After contacting the Minister for Health several times over the past month, I’m delighted that the Minister has just signed an amendment to the public health order that specifically allows Dawny to reopen to the public.
I want to thank everyone in the community who contacted me or called the Minister to help make this happen.
The pool will operate with a booking system, allowing a maximum of 26 people at a time to visit for up to an hour. Bookings will open online today with the first swimmers allowed from Wednesday.
We've already had reports this morning from residents that the booking system has glitches and isn't user-friendly so I've contacted Council to encourage them to make improvements urgently.
The reopening of Dawny is especially good news as our pool has been closed since 2019.
As you know, the Inner West Council wasn't able to fund urgent repairs for the pool but our community campaign to win grant funding from the state government was successful.
With your support, I was able to announce a huge $2.2 million state government grant to support the Council and get the vital restoration work done.
Over and again, our community has proved that working together we can pressure the Liberal-National Government to deliver for our local area.
Thank you again to all the local residents who supported that campaign - including the thousands of people who signed our petition - and thank you to everyone who contacted me to push for the safe reopening of Dawny during lockdown.
I look forward to seeing you down at Dawny one day soon.