Ceduna ocean pool reopens as other coastal communities face summer with closed jetties – ABC News

Ceduna ocean pool reopens as other coastal communities face summer with closed jetties
An emergency bushfire warning is in place for Mariginiup, north of Perth. Keep up to date with ABC Emergency
A beloved ocean pool on the Eyre Peninsula's far west coast has reopened, as some regional South Australian communities await access to their jetties for summer.
The Ceduna Swimming Enclosure had been in the works for almost two decades before opening in 2018.
But in 2023, issues with the net and pontoon forced the pool to close for repairs throughout the winter.
Ceduna has no other public swimming facilities.
Town local and dedicated ocean swimmer Tiana Mullan said she was thrilled by the pool's reopening.
"What better way to start the day than in the ocean," she said.
"I love the way the saltwater makes my skin feel. I also know the benefits it does for our bodies, just being in the cold water."
Ms Mullan said the daily ritual of a morning swim followed by a coffee at the local bakery had enriched the mental health of community members while creating positive change.
"Ceduna doesn't have a splash pad or much water fun for kids that is outdoors, so on the hot days that we've had already so far, the new platform has just been just amazing," she said.
"The grandparents can sit down while the other kids swim, and before you had that, there was nothing."
Free aquatic facilities have been found to have a positive impact on physical and mental health for both individuals and communities as a whole.
According to research commissioned by Royal Life Saving Australia, water activities also reduced school absenteeism and built water safety skills.
District Council of Ceduna chief executive Timothy Coote said the local jetty and its attached swimming pool form an integral part of the town's identity.
"Because of where we are geographically, I think every person travelling to and from the state basically stops in Ceduna, and right along our foreshore precinct," he said.
"But if I asked locals to imagine if the jetty wasn't there, it suddenly makes for a strange town."
That scenario has become a reality for Tumby Bay on the Lower Eyre Peninsula, which is now facing the prospect of a summer without access to their jetty.
The Tumby Bay jetty was damaged by storms in late 2022, and remains closed for the foreseeable future due to repairs.
The jetty has been a fixture of its community since 1874, when it was constructed to allow copper ore, wheat and other goods to be moved onto ships more easily.
The nearby Port Neill jetty reopened in October after a $1.35 million council contribution to the project, but still requires further repairs.
Mr Coote said safe and viable jetties are extremely important to coastal communities.
"I think it really defines who we are," he said.
"On the west coast it's certainly part of our lifestyle, and fishing and swimming and walking and taking advantage of the open space in the sea air for us is really defining."
In Port Lincoln, repairs to the foreshore jetty have prevented access to the adjacent ocean swimming enclosure for several months.
Jetties are also closed in popular holiday spots Second Valley, Port Elliot and Port Germein.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

source