Save Our Ocean Baths - Newcastle and Merewether NSW

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Like lots of Newcastle locals I grew up swimming at our ocean baths in Newcastle and Merewether. Newcastle City Council has just opened a process for private redevelopment of both pavilions at Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths. Worryingly, there does not appear to have been any community consultation about this.

We believe our public assets deserve to be treated with respect and maintained in the way they are currently loved and enjoyed by Novocastrians. Newcastle City Council  and the NSW Government have continued to use privatisation as a way of solving their funding issues, and based on their actions, do not seem to have any interest in protecting the unique vistas and built heritage of this town - heritage that is a drawcard for visitors. This is not good enough. 
There has already been a groundswell of concern about the way the Council has chosen to progress upgrades to both heritage-listed places. The proposed developments in Council's Expression of Interest document represent dramatic changes to the look of the Newcastle Baths and the size of public spaces. Save Our Ocean Baths, Friends of Newcastle Ocean Baths and many others in the community are calling for real public consultation before deciding how to upgrade both sites. 

We are calling on the Newcastle City Council to listen to the community and ask us for ideas about restoring the pavilions, including keeping both places in public hands. This is the only way we can ensure our diverse community will feel welcome at the baths for many generations to come.

Jessica Miller, 
Save Our Ocean Baths