PHOTOS: Parramatta feels the heat

Lake Parramatta has become the coolest place in town.

Hundreds are expected to the lake this week with temperatures predicted to reach 39 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. A cool change is predicted for Thursday before temperatures rise to 32 by Saturday.

Locals also flocked to the lake on Friday afternoon before they sweltered through Sydney’s hottest January night on record.

Reopened in early 2015 for the first time since 1942, the lake is now in its second full summer season.

The lake attracted more than 12,000 visitors during the 2015-116 summer.

Demand is expected increase next summer after Parramatta War Memorial Pool closes on March 31.

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president Stephen Bali has praised the recently launched Cool Parramatta initiative, which helps the community manage the impacts of extreme heat. 

Western Sydney could experience up to 10 additional extremely hot days by 2030.

“We need a coordinated approach to tackling urban heat, particularly in known hot spots such as western Sydney,” said Cr Bali said.

“A number of Western Sydney councils have been working on innovative programs to tackle urban heat at the local level, and we invite government planning agencies to work with councils to see whether there is potential for these programs to be rolled out on a regional scale. Both Parramatta and Penrith councils have conducted aerial heat mapping of their local area in order to identify and mitigate extreme heat pockets.

“All of these programs are working towards keeping our cities cool and liveable, but a more comprehensive, wide scale approach is necessary to ensure our city is heat-safe well into the future,” Cr Bali added.

“Developing a comprehensive, city-wide heat strategy should absolute priority given the level of growth forecasted for Sydney over the next 20 years.

“Such a strategy might include increased urban tree cover, planning controls for facades and rooftops on new buildings, or intelligent use of water for cooling urban areas,” he said.

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