Kids deal with the heat at Lake Parramatta. Picture: Gene Ramirez.Parramatta’s outdoor recreation opportunities could be expanded withParramattaCity Council taking steps to make swimming atLakeParramattaa permanent fixture this summer.
Lord Mayor ofParramatta, Cr Scott Lloyd, said that following the completion of an appropriate safety assessment,LakeParramattacould be open for public swimming and water recreation activities by mid-summer.
“TheLakeParramattaReserve is a significant natural area within western Sydney and I am pleased that Council has voted to move forward with this proposal,” Cr Lloyd said.
“Our first step is to undertake a formal risk assessment of the site. Council would then identify the safety measures that are needed to ensure a safe and clean environment for swimmers.
“These measures would include creating safe entry and exit points, specifying a designated area for swimming, safety signage around theLake, having lifeguards present at peak times and maintaining a regular water quality monitoring program.
“We would monitor usage by the community to determine if any further measures need to be undertaken or modified to ensure safe swimming.
Currently swimming is only permitted inLakeParramattaas part of an organised event which requires pre-approval from Council.
“Swimming and other recreation activities would re-activateLakeParramattaas a must-visit destination and will open up the beautiful surrounding natural environment for people to explore and enjoy.
“Importantly, this proposal could see the first re-opening of a natural waterway in theParramattalocal government area to unrestricted swimming in more than forty years.”
Cr Lloyd said opening theLaketo swimming would bring many benefits to theParramattacommunity including positive health and wellbeing, improved facilities, increased visitation and improved social outcomes and liveability.
“If implemented, the designated swimming area will complement existing facilities at the reserve including ample parking, picnicking and BBQ facilities, non-motorised boating facilities, playgrounds and bushwalking tracks,” he said.
Council’s vision to grow parks and green spaces that surround the CBD and bring back swimming to theParramattaRiver is set out in its community strategic plan,Parramatta2038.
“The investigation ofLakeParramattaas a public swimming location marks an important step for the recently launched Our Living River initiative, which aims to make theParramattaRiver and its catchments swimmable by 2025.”
Council is currently the host of theParramattaRiver Catchment Group, which launched the Our Living River initiative this month.
The Our Living River website, which encourages the community to vote for their favourite swimming spot, showsLakeParramattaas the most popular swimming location along theParramattaRiver catchment.
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