Time for an Ocean Pool off Bather’s Beach?

This Wednesday we will be looking at providing in principle support for what I think is a very exciting project – an Ocean Pool off Bather’s Beach

This idea started when in 2011 representatives from the City of Fremantle met with representatives from Swimming WA and other individuals (including Architect Sam Martin whose drawings are below) who were keen to support the building of an ocean pool on the south side of South Mole near Bathers Beach. Think Bondi Beach style.

In late 2011, Swimming WA indicated to the City of Fremantle that principle support would better enable them to explore funding opportunities that would enable the project to be progressed.

Such a project would  have a number of potential benefits. This would include attracting residents and tourists into the West End of Fremantle. It would be a unique attracter in Perth which currently has no Ocean Pools, although early planning is underway at both Cottesloe and Scarborough beaches. It would likely assist the City of Fremantle in activating the West End and attract people to an often quiet and under-utilised section of the city.

It would also take pressure of the Fremantle Leisure centre pools and offer another option for swimming in Fremantle.

Before this project could proceed these benefits would need to be considered in the context of potential heritage impacts in this important part of Fremantle.

While providing in principle support for the ocean pool concept in this area does not commit Fremantle Council into funding such a project or to agreeing to its exact location, it does enable organisations like Swimming WA to seek planning and funding support to progress the project.

The RECOMMENDATION before SGS Committee is:

1. That Fremantle Council give in principle support for the embedding of an Ocean Pool into future planning for Bathers Beach and surroundings in Fremantle.

2. That Fremantle Council work with Swimming WA to progress the Ocean pool project and supports them in funding applications.

3. That Fremantle Council requests that Fremantle Ports include an Ocean Pool into their planning for the “Hotel site” identified in the Victoria Quay Masterplan.


I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this idea?



About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

15 Responses to Time for an Ocean Pool off Bather’s Beach?

  1. Colin Nichol says:

    What about direct access to the sea from the pool? Also, will water have to be pumped? It seems so from the illustrations. If so, not too sustainable. Natural wave filling of such polls was my experience in NSW.


  2. Janine Marshall says:

    This would be wonderful! I can imagine it now..taking a dip whilst looking out at the ocean sunset! How fantastic! Aaaahhhhhh deep breath 🙂
    There are many benefits to having this, its really a no brainer when one thinks of all the advantages it would bring.
    Of course, once any political/environmental challenges have been assessed another issue that you outlined above would be any heritage impacts.
    My own opinion regarding this is that heritage and modernity mix well. As well as maintaining the heritage of Fremantle, we also have to move along with the times and introduce a little bit of subtle modernism. To add something a little different, a uniqueness, is part of a developing city.
    It would be creating a new relationship with our surroundings by being open minded about progress and also keeping alive our past heritage and taking inspiration from it – a lovely mix of old and new – done in the right way for us all to enjoy. Coming from a very old part of England myself, I have seen this done first hand in the City of Sheffield where I am from and it really works well (although definitely no ocean view, just a view of city blocks and night clubs 😀 )

    So, I for one think it is a wonderful idea and would LOVE to take a dip with a scrummy Pina Colada 😀

  3. Emma Anda says:

    Wow, I think that is a fantastic idea! I always love swimming in the ocean pools when I am in Sydney, they are a gorgeous part of Sydney I think and it is such a lovely feeling swimming in a pool which is full of fresh, actual seawater, and being right near the ocean while you do it.

    Sometime you see little tiny fish swimming by you, it is such a different feeling from a regular type of pool. Hope this can happen, it would be heaps of fun for locals and visitors, and something really different on our coastline.

  4. freoishome says:

    Sounds like a great idea.

    However, I would prefer to see it start as something less grandiose than your outline picture. Lets start with the reclamation, pools, some simple changing rooms and the basic landform features. If it proves a success then consider the other buildings. I think it needs a little caution to base the success of a sporting and recreational facility on, say, the viability of business be that retail, hospitality, commercial or admin.

    During ISAF this would have made an excellent viewing platform if free public access was available. I can imagine something similar if Bathers Beach was used for other open water events, eg, swim throughs, windsurfing, etc.

  5. Edna says:

    Just came from a swim a Bathers Beach and is has lots of ciggie butts and bottle tops – FAIL. The swimming pool should be protected from southern wind and currents – put it where teh water will be calm – that is on the other groyne – the one where the ISAF 2011 function room thing was erected.

    And ‘SGS’ – are we meant to know what that means?

  6. Rob Harrison says:

    Great idea Brad. I also love Sydney’s beach pools and I think the concept drawing looks pretty good and am looking forward to a closer look. Is that car park on the end? Good to avoid that if possible. Its great that your concept don’t take away any of the small beach itself. Looking forward to more info.

    • Rob
      Fair comment. We need to work through the plans and funding still and I agree is shouldn’t take away any beach
      cheers, Brad

      • I agree any development shouldn’t remove existing beach – which is remarkable for a city and accessible to everyone. It should also not detract from the heritage environment which is what makes Fremantle so special. And should be built on and promote sustainability principles. I wouldn’t support this if it was purely for private interest commercial gain. Carolyn

  7. Dawn says:

    I think a pool at Bather’s Beach would be fantastic. I recall the oceanside pool at Cairns when I was there and thought it looked amazing and very inviting. I think this would be the start of Fremantle becoming the vibrant town that it once was.I have lived in Fremantle for fifteen years and love the feel and vibe of the town. However,after reading the many negative comments in the local paper about how Fremantle will end up being a Ghost town one can only hope that something good will start to turn it around again. I hope this project is one that happens, and happens very soon!

  8. Anita says:

    In principle, I love the idea of an ocean pool, however I think the design shown is simply another leisure centre built on reclaimed land near the ocean.

    Bondi beach, as this project assumes to emulate, is a wonderful, natural and free swimming experience for visitors to the area, unlike this design proposal which has two cafes, an entry (presumably for charging admission?) and seems to be connected to the Indian Ocean only by proximity,

    So, to conclude, I feel it’s misleading to promote this idea as a true ocean pool and should be spoken of as a leisure centre so that the public has a better understanding of exactly what they will end up with.

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