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‘The doors will shut’: Australia’s oldest pool is in serious trouble

Article image for ‘The doors will shut’: Australia’s oldest pool is in serious trouble

An iconic heritage-listed pool is facing serious trouble.

Sydney-siders have been visiting the Dawn Fraser Baths since the 1880s.

Perched on Sydney harbour’s peninsula in Balmain, it’s home to the nation’s oldest swimming club.

But the beloved saltwater pool is in desperate need of $6.7-million worth of repairs, a cost some Inner West councillors aren’t prepared to cough up.

The council’s mayor, Darcy Byrne, is desperate to save the Baths but tells Ray Hadley resistance from the Greens has made his quest more difficult.

“I’ve been busy finding savings to make sure we can fund the $6.7 million in urgent works to keep the place open, but some more savings that I’ve identified have been rejected by the Greens.

“They say let’s hold out and hope for a state government grant.

“The council’s got to fund the works and we’ve got to do it soon.”

Mayor Byrne says he’s been able to gather $4.5 million to fund the renovations, but they need an extra $2.2 million.

“It’s still a magnificent place to go but, gee, the place needs some love.

“And the doors will shut if the council doesn’t get its act together and fund the heritage restoration which needs to happen.”

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Ray is calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to step in and provide the extra money to save the iconic site.

“Gladys, tell Gabrielle Upton to make the money available this week so we can tune it up with the $4.5 million that the local council will put in… and get the bloody thing saved and done.”

He says the pool has been around for over a century and should be around for another 100 years.

Image: Inner West Council