Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Day: two swims

After weeks of cool and wet weather, Christmas Day was bright, sunny and hot. We headed off to Little Bay for a swim in the morning. In the afternoon I went to McIvers Ladies Baths at Coogee.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bexley pool update

At the Rockdale Council meeting on Wed 7 Dec, a unanimous decision was made to go ahead with the next phase of the pool re-development: commuity engagement. Consultation feedback is called for, starting Dec 13 and running to early March 2012.

As Mark Hanna, spokesperson for the pool supporters' said:

"After three solid years of intense lobbying, petitions and meeting attendance, we finally have something concrete to comment on. I cannot stress enough how important it is to flood council with favourable feedback on the proposed concept plans and facility mix."

All the information is available at the Rockdale Council website:

Alternatively, they have set up a special email address for feedback as well. The email address is

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader carries a front page story on the proposed upgrade. People can also go onto their site and make comments. Here is the link:

This is our chance to get this project over the line and secure the long term future of Bexley Pool. Please help by providing positive feedback. Without this upgrade, the future of Bexley Pool remains highly uncertain.

Pictures are courtesy of architects TompkinsMDA. Look at the link to see their other aquatic centre designs.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Bexley pool: proposal for re-development

Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know about my love affair with my local pool, Bexley Swimming Centre. You can catch up with previous blogs about Bexley by clicking that link.

There's been a community drive led by regular pool users to have the local Council attend to serious concerns about  the viability of the centre. The fact that it is one of Sydney's "best kept secrets" - an under-utilised facility in a beautiful almost bushland setting which is a year-round suntrap is not enough to ensure that it remains as a public amenity into the future.

The tenacity of the leaders of the campaign is most admirable. It has taken many rounds of lobbying, addressing Council meetings and attendance at reference group meetings to reach a situation where a concrete propsal to emerge.

What has been presented is magnificent, as the illustrations show.

Pictures are courtesy of architects TompkinsMDA. Look at the link to see their other aquatic centre designs.

The report says that at the moment there are 130 000 visits a year, each of which is "subsidised" at $3.02 (I have a little trouble with this concept - a public amenity is what people pay rates for....but I digress....). It is estimated that the re-developed facility would atttract 541 000 annual visits, at a subsidy of $0.79 per visit.

The design concept has: a new outdoor 50m pool with seating and shade and an indoor facility containing an 8 lane 25m pool, a learn to swim and warm water exercise pool, a children's play pool, a spa and sauna and 700sq m of dry fitness space with a gym and group exercise rooms. It would also have a creche, children's party room, kiosk and amenities.

A quantity surveyor has estimated the cost at $26.81 million.

Several recommendations which progress the concept will go to Council next Wednesday. Read the full report here. Below are drawings accompanying the report.

Current layout

Proposed overview

More detail of proposed indoor facility

Indoor and outdoor pools

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Sydney's Ocean Baths & Other Musings - Ian Swift

The colourful elephant sculpture is called Extreme Surfing. It is by Katoomba artist, Ian Swift, and was on display in this year's Sculpture By The Sea exhibition, which takes place annually along the walk between Bondi and Tamarama beaches in Sydney.

I had a look for more of Swift's work, and came across the catalogue for an exhibition held in 2005 called Sydney's Ocean Baths (above). I am captivated by these works, and ordered a catalogue.

Below are his representations of two of my favourite Sydney ocean pools: McIver's Women's Pool at Coogee, and Mahon Pool at Maroubra.

You can browse more of his works here.

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

McIvers (Women's pool), Coogee