Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

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Simmos Beach

The first stage of Simmos Beach Reserve was opened in 1986, to provide opportunities for 'passive recreation' in the densely populated Campbelltown suburb of Macquarie Fields.

Generations of Campbelltown children had swum from the beach on the Georges River, although it was affected by sandmining. In the 1950s and 1960s, illegal sand-dredging became a covert industry in Macquarie Fields and one of the best known miners was Bob Simmonds. As a result, the area behind the beach had become a wasteland. Campbelltown Council itself had taken gravel, and removed vegetation, from land between Fifth and Sixth avenues, and there was a sandstone quarry further south. Rubbish and cars had been dumped in the bush, where people also followed the dangerously incompatible hobbies of trail-bike riding and bow-hunting. The bike riders inflicted much damage on the terrace above the river.

In the 1970s the council stopped the sand-mining and began planning a new reserve. Eroded areas were stabilised, native vegetation was replanted, and the reserve included a wildlife protection zone as well as bush tracks, boardwalks, barbecue areas and picnic grounds. It was named after Bob 'Simmo' Simmonds.