Lake Macquarie City Council to start remediation works on Kilaben Bay jetty, and removing the baths structure closed due to asbestos find

REMEDIATION: The Kilaben Bay jetty is expected to be reopened to the public by the end of September. But the swimming enclosure will be removed. Picture: Supplied
REMEDIATION: The Kilaben Bay jetty is expected to be reopened to the public by the end of September. But the swimming enclosure will be removed. Picture: Supplied

Work has started on the remediation of Kilaben Bay jetty, and the removal of the piles that formed a swimming baths area, which had been closed because of asbestos concerns.

Lake Macquarie City Council's community assets section manager Brendan Callander said the works would involve removal of piles and capping from the former baths.

"An inspection of the baths earlier this year identified some potentially contaminated materials had been used in the construction of the facility, so this work is all about removing that material to ensure it's safe for our community to continue to enjoy," Mr Callander said.

"We know the Kilaben Bay community has been eager to see the area reopen, and we're pleased they will soon be accessible again, in time for warmer weather."

The jetty is expected to reopen to the public by the end of September.

But the piles that formed the defined swimming area won't be reinstated.

Council issued a revised statement yesterday to clarify their position.

"Following a review of options associated with the remediation of the Kilaben Bay swimming enclosure, it was determined the removal of the asbestos-containing pilings would provide the safest community outcome," a council spokesperson said.

"Council resolved to review the success of the Belmont Baths project prior to supplying any further swimming enclosures within the lake.

"As part of this review, we are developing an Aquatics Facility Strategy that will identify the facilities and initiatives that can activate the lake, support recreation, tourism, events and commercial-related opportunities. This strategy will provide the community an opportunity to provide feedback on what's important to them, including the provision of designated lake swimming areas.

"As there is an existing designated swimming area at 30 Victory Row, Toronto, which is less than two kilometres from the Kilaben Bay Baths site, it has been decided to not replace this facility until the Aquatics Facility Strategy has been completed."

Kilaben Bay residents have contacted the Lakes Mail to voice their disappointment in the council's decision not to replace the swimming enclosure.

The residents said although the enclosure wasn't netted, it provided a safe physical barrier between swimmers and the vessels that accessed the jetty.

The swimming structure also provided a refuge for young swimmers who tired in the deeper water, they said.

Council, meanwhile, said it was reviewing the tenders for the Wangi Wangi and Speers Point jetty upgrades.

The jetty was closed to the public, and a fence erected, early this year. Picture: Supplied

The jetty was closed to the public, and a fence erected, early this year. Picture: Supplied

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