Sydney Deserves a World Class River

We believe that every Australian should have easy access to a natural place to swim and relax. For the million or so people who live within 20 minutes of its beauty, that river is the Parramatta River. 

Our mission is to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025. Yes, the challenge is complex. But it's doable and already widely supported. Scientific modelling shows us it's possible, and there are many international examples of where it has been done. 

Harbour Bath offers an urban harbour landscape with drydocks, piers, boat ramps, cliffs, playgrounds and pontoons, making it possible for the citizens of Copenhagen to go for a swim in the middle of the city.
Copenhagen
This out of the ordinary swimming pool is called The Badeschiff, created from recycled cargo containers and is floating on the river Spree in Berlin.
Berlin
Thames Bath is a proposal for a floating swimming pool in the River Thames that incorporates the tidal waters of the river, which will be clean enough to bathe in after the arrival of London’s new sewage tunnel.
London
+ POOL is an initiative to build the world’s first waterfiltering, floating pool. The design filters the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, making it possible for New Yorkers to swim in clean river water for the first time in 100 years.
New york

Up until the 1950s most of the Parramatta River was swimmable and was the focal point for many social activities. Today, the upper and mid reaches of the river have become too polluted for swimming and other activities to continue, leaving few locations where people can still swim.

But the whole river can be swimmable again.

Below: 1910 Lifesaving Festival at Little Coogee, on the Parramatta River in Parramatta Park


Benefits

A swimmable river is about more than just swimming. It is a clean and healthy river, with vibrant and active spaces that everyone can easily get to and enjoy in different ways.

Some of the benefits include:


Greater Liveability

Greater Liveability

A healthy river supports and enhances life in many ways. It makes the area more liveable by introducing greater biodiversity, better air quality and access to activities such as swimming, picnicking, cycling or just relaxing. 

 

Social connection

Social connection

Australians are attracted to water. Being around a river they can swim in or a creek they can relax by creates a great social and recreational attraction for both locals and tourists. A swimmable river will foster community connection by facilitating fun, safe places throughout the river's catchment for people to meet. 

 

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

A living river is one that is rich in biodiversity, where people, fish and other animals can thrive together. It is a place where healthy vegetation and fauna flourish, and people benefit physically and mentally from being close to nature.

 

Better public amenities

Better public amenities

As the Parramatta River is improved to allow for more human activities, many places along its banks will be developed so residents and tourists can enjoy the benefits. We are looking to design and implement better infrastructure that improves access for everyone. 

 

Healthy Living

Healthy Living

Living near a swimmable waterway or healthy creek promotes healthy living. This is not just because of the obvious health benefits of swimming or walking, but also because the area becomes more activated with children's play areas, walking paths, cycleways, major events and other recreational activities.

 

Business opportunities

Business opportunities

As the area becomes busier, business opportunities will increase. Restaurants and venues will have the opportunity to invest in waterfront locations or benefit from improved access to the river and capitalise on the benefits of a living river. 

 

Increased property value

Increased property value

Living in close proximity to clean, swimmable water or nice open space areas or wetlands is highly sought after and greatly increases property prices. A swimmable Parramatta River and cleaner creeks will attract property investors, promote redevelopment and help increase the desirability of living in all suburbs near the river and its tributaries.

 

The plan

We’ve developed a plan to help us achieve our mission of making the Parramatta River swimmable by 2025.

Read our Plan for the River

This fits into four areas:

Build support

Identify issues

Set targets & write pathways

Report success