Council approves Dawn Fraser Baths master plan, but leaves funding shortfall

Thursday, 6 September 2018
Inner West Council has endorsed a new master plan for historic Dawn Fraser Baths, which will improve user experience at the Baths while rehabilitating and protecting its heritage character and unique sense of place long loved by locals and visitors alike.

However, a funding shortfall of $2.2 million remains from the $6.7 million required for urgent repairs to keep the pool open, after a majority of Councillors voted against further funding for the pool.

The master plan shows that if the $6.7 million in priority works are not undertaken the pool is likely to become unsafe for public and sporting use in the immediate future.

“For more than a century this much-loved public pool has been an asset for the people of Sydney, but now it is in desperate need of rehabilitation. We have once in a generation chance to get the restoration right so that Dawny will be around for at least another 100 years,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.

“Unsurprisingly, investigations have shown that a proper heritage restoration of the pool, which will genuinely secure its future, will be expensive.

“As Mayor Leichhardt and now as Mayor the Inner West I found savings and delivered $4.5 million in funding to complete the refurbishment of Dawny, which will cost $6.7 million.

“However, the rejection by a majority of Councillors of further funding, we are left with a $2.2 million shortfall. There is now a very real danger Dawn Fraser Pool will become unsafe for use.

“With a heritage asset as magnificent as this pool, we have to ensure this restoration is fully funded and done thoroughly and completely. Anything else risks the pool closing its doors,” he said.

Mayor Byrne also said Council is now looking for further community feedback on the plan.

“The feedback we received has been used to develop the draft Dawn Fraser Baths Master Plan which will be used to guide improvements at the Baths over the next 10 years,” Mayor Byrne said.

“We’d like to hear from our residents again before Council adopts the plans to make sure the proposed Dawn Fraser Baths improvement meets community needs now and into the future.”
Some of the draft master plan strategies include:
  • Raising the boardwalk, South Pavilion and Central Pavilion to overcome sea- level rises.
  • New lighting so UTS Balmain Tigers Water Polo Club can continue to play at their home.
  • Reconstruction of the South Pavilion and Central Pavilion.
  • New bathroom and change rooms on ground floor.
  • Storm water upgrades.
  • Refurbishment of piers.
  • Installing pool-side shade umbrellas.
The draft plan is on public exhibition from Friday 31 August 2018 until Friday 28 September with community feedback during public exhibition via the Your Say Inner West website.
For further information, please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787 or


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Page last updated: 11 Sep 2018