The Ceduna Safe Swimming Enclosure
There has been a lot of discussion about the swimming enclosure from various people, which I am sure was well intentioned, but which lacked knowledge of many of the facts concerned. This project was prepared based on a combination of guidance from a committee of the CBTA and extensive advice from engineers and others.
The committee varied in size over the 17 years from quite a large group to a small hard working number. At all times involvement from all members of our community was encouraged but was not always achieved. The committee did a magnificent job of fund raising with strong community support and attended too many meetings.
The one thing that we apologise for is the ridiculously long time that this has taken and I am happy to do so on behalf of Council. Many delays were simply unavoidable and very frustrating.
I will try to cover the main points raised in social media;
1) It should be attached to the jetty.
No it certainly should not. This is based on advice that swimmers could be injured by jumping into the enclosure from the jetty and hitting the walls of the enclosure. This danger would make it very difficult to get insurance cover and could cause serious harm to someone.
2) It should be located at Alexander’s Beach.
That was the original plan but it was abandoned because of community objection. Furthermore, with the benefit of hindsight, it may well have proved to be unaffordable.
3) It should have been a floating structure with pontoons.
That was plan B, however engineering advice was simply that any floating structure would have been destroyed by the first extreme windy weather. The Port Lincoln structure had this problem and has required a protective boom to make it useable.
That is why there are no pontoons in the design. The netting rises and falls with the tide on fixed piles. It will be possible to place pontoons each time that they are required for swimming events, but leaving them on site would be a mistake. Both the committee and council were very keen to ensure that we did not waste community funds by building something which would end up destroyed and on the beach.
4) That the build should be delayed for further discussion.
The project is too far advanced for this to be considered. The steel works for the walkway from the jetty are built. In any event any delay would cost too much and achieve very little. The enclosure has been designed after extensive engineering and other advice, and has not lightly been done.
5) The enclosure will be risky should a swimmer get into difficulty.
All walls are easy to hold onto – furthermore the enclosure is not intended for people who cannot swim. The design has satisfied our insurers and would not have passed if it was not safe.
6) Council fobbed off people with concerns.
This is incorrect with me making special arrangements for attendance at our March council meeting by two concerned people. We would also encourage interested people to consider creating a “friends of the swimming enclosure committee” to promote future improvements to the enclosure.
7) Council and the committee should have consulted more.
With all due respect 17 years of consultation and countless hours of time from volunteers and members of council was often hampered by a lack of involvement from other members of the community.
Please consider the above details when discussing this project.
This is a blog. I am not a professional writer. These are my observations. Please feel free to suggest edits, offer contributions or contact about blogging your own local interest.
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