The Greens’ Meredith Hunter is kicking off a push for women’s only swimming opportunities in the ACT:
“Providing women’s only swimming would increase the availability of swimming to a number of women and children in our community, both for safety, and for fun.
“Some women and families currently do not use our public pools due to religious reasons, accessibility concerns, or for body image reasons.
“I have raised women’s only swimming with the Chief Minister in recent weeks, and I hope her planned meetings with community advocates will progress this issue.
“There have been some women’s only swimming programs run by community organizations or small community groups on a season by season basis, which rely on the availability of private pools such as the pool at Canberra Girls Grammar or the ACU.
“With work yet to begin on the new Gungahlin Leisure Centre, the Government has a golden opportunity, for instance, to incorporate screening into the design so that a separated pool area can be available for women only sessions.
“Such ad hoc arrangements can be difficult to manage, especially due to the rising costs of insurance, which many small community organisations are not able to meet.
UPDATE 08/02/12 15:25: Andrew Barr has tweeted his disapproval:
The ACT Labor Government will not be supporting the Greens call for a women’s only public swimming pool. Public pools are for everyone.
UPDATE 09/02/12 10:04: A spokeperson for the Greens has sent this in:
The tweet from Andrew Barr yesterday regarding women’s only swimming may have caused his followers and your readers to be misinformed about the issue. No one that we know of has proposed a women’s only pool. The Greens certainly don’t support that. This is about opportunities for women’s only swim sessions. Women’s and Men’s only swim sessions were run in the past at the now closed Kaleen swim centre, and were very popular (about 60 people per session). Investigating a temporary screen for such sessions is being supported by the Royal Life Savers ACT, YWCA as well as the Greens.