In the Illawarra, we're blessed to be surrounded by places to swim.
Our glorious beaches (when the flags are up), our ocean and rock pools dotted across the coastline, our heated council-owned pools, and our privately-run pools.
There's something for everyone in all seasons.
But we shouldn't take our good fortune for granted.
As Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery flagged at a meeting of Wollongong City Council on Monday night, over $1bn of council assets are caught up in aquatic services and pools.
At the meeting, he quoted from a Royal Lifesaving Society report which found 40 per cent of Australia's swimming pools will require replacement in the next 10 years.
It's something that is front of mind for the council after recent issues with Dapto Pool's heating system and the recent closure of the state-owned pool at West Wollongong Public School.
The NSW Department for Education said there were 'significant costs' in upgrading and maintaining the pool.
Already, the council has planned for upgrades to Helensburgh, Corrimal and the Western Suburbs pools in the draft delivery programme to 2026/27 at a cost of $19.6m over four years.
But Cr Bradbery is making it clear that more is needed, particularly when you take into account the age of our pools and the fact the region is growing faster than anyone can keep up.
And as regular swimmer at Unanderra Pool Carolynne Macdonald said, it's not just about diving into fresh, cool water on a hot day.
It's about keeping fit and having a place where you can have social connections; it's the added health benefits of moving in water.
In light of the recent search for a missing University of Wollongong student who was caught in a rip at Fairy Meadow Beach, our pools are also crucial for providing our children with swimming lessons and water safety skills.
Of course, these can be given in a rock pool, but our children's pools are much better suited.
Overall, it's encouraging seeing our councillors thinking about the future of our pools.
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