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ANZAC Bridge Sydney
Photograph: Marcus Lenk | Unsplash | ANZAC Bridge Sydney

Cooling hubs are popping up across Sydney to help people cope this summer

The first mobile cooling hub in Australia will provide respite for Sydney’s homeless population on the summer’s hottest days

Winnie Stubbs
Written by
Winnie Stubbs

According to predictions, it looks like we’re in for a scorcher of a summer – and though that means more beach days, it doesn’t come without its downfalls. The government has already issued a health warning about the issue of sunburn after recording a 30 per cent increase in cases of sunburn in hospitals across NSW. To combat the issue of overheating for Sydney’s homeless population, councils will be providing publicly-accessible, free, air-conditioned and climate-controlled spaces throughout the summer.

The motion to introduce publicly accessible cooling centres – particularly in Sydney’s West – was brought forward by Councillor Philippa Scott, and has been approved by the Inner West Council in an effort to help Sydneysiders through what are expected to be a very warm few months. The centres will be open between December 2023 and February 2024, with one of the key aims being to provide Sydney’s homeless population with a place to stay cool during the summer.

Advertisement of the spaces will be amplified across the city when temperatures are expected to exceed 40°C, and when the Air Quality Indicator is ‘poor’ or ‘worse’. The council has also discussed the possibility of opening the centres during the night in the case of a severe heat wave.

One cooling hub project from St Vincent’s Hospital and the City of Sydney will utilise a renewable-energy-powered mobile cooling hub – the first of its kind to be deployed in Australia. This particular hub – which will use low-cost techniques including misting fans – will also offer food, providing a safe space for Sydney’s homeless population to find respite during the hottest days of summer.

The exact details and opening times of Sydney’s cooling hubs will be dependent on weather conditions, and you can find out where and when they'll be popping up over here

Want to help Sydney’s homeless population?

Shop at Wayside Chapel Op Shop.

Dine at the Refettorio OzHarvest to help feed people in need.

Donate a plate and help The Wayside Chapel feed someone lunch on Christmas Day.

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