Thursday, February 29, 2024

Penrith eyes Bondi of the west title

Penrith City Council has applauded a decision by the NSW Government and Penrith Lakes Development Corporation to open the Penrith Lakes to recreation activities this summer – with ‘Penrith Beach’ looking to rival the famous Bondi Beach of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The announcement was backed by a $1.7 million investment from the NSW Government for construction and safety work to get the new swimming spot at Penrith ready for swimmers over the hottest months of the year.

Mayor, Todd Carney said he was delighted Council’s advocacy for the community had come to fruition just in time for summer.

“For too long, Penrith Lakes has been sitting idle behind locked gates when it should have been opened to the community,” Mayor Carney said.

“With summer just days away this an enormous win for our community. This first step towards permanent access and to realise the lakes’ full potential is just the beginning for this hidden gem in Penrith.

“Penrith Lakes spans 20km2, offers a natural beach and waterway that is comparable in size to Bondi Beach. Unlocking parts of this prime, existing piece of land in our footprint is a cost-effective way to ensure that our community members have an active haven to escape the heat which is close to home.

“Instead of having to drive over an hour to the nearest beach, our residents will be minutes from a fantastic spot to cool off and have fun.

“I want to acknowledge the efforts of Council in getting to this stage. Successive Mayors and Councillors have called on the State Government to open this site to the community – it’s testament to that continued work for our community and Western Sydney that sees us standing here today,” he said.

He said the natural beauty of the site and the activities it can host will immediately attract visitors from across Western Sydney, with tourist numbers set to further increase with the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport opening in 2026.

In 2020, Penrith earned the title of the hottest place on earth with residents sweltering under a baking 48.9 degrees Celsius.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car says the beach will be open seven days a week from late December to early March 2024, with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“Penrith Beach is a gamechanger that gives the people of Western Sydney all the benefits of living in the west, with the addition of easy access to their very own beach,” said the Deputy Premier.

“This is about fairness. For too long Western Sydney locals were neglected as the Liberals and Nationals focused all their energy on investment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“The Minns Labor Government made a decision to create this magnificent recreation facility to give Western Sydney residents their fair share with the same access to swimming as Sydney’s east.

Lifeguard services and first aid will be available in the designated and patrolled swimming zone.

The site will be managed by the Department of Planning and Environment after an agreement signed with Western Sydney Lakes.

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