Budget funds upgrade Point Lonsdale SLSC’s facilities
THE Point Lonsdale SLSC is only weeks away from fully moving into its new home ahead of summer, and it also has a better back beach facility to look forward to.
The Victorian Government’s 2021/22 Budget earmarked $2.5 million to provide an upgraded back beach base for the club’s 1,000 volunteer members.
Key features of the upgraded base will include disability access, improved positioning of the communications and observation room and a storage for rescue watercraft and lifesaving equipment.
Volunteer lifesavers will have more space for training and summer patrols, and the updated base will increase operational capability.
This funding is in addition to $175,000 for a temporary back beach base for the club to use over the previous summer season, and another $100,000 to assist with the planning and design of the redevelopment to ensure construction of the facility can start as soon as possible.
Member for Victoria Gayle Tierney – representing Bellarine MP Lisa Neville – visited both the existing back beach base and the clubhouse on Friday last week.
Point Lonsdale SLSC president Charlie Pitney welcomed the $2.5 million for the back beach base, which is separated from the clubhouse by a large hill.
“This is one of if not the most dangerous surf beaches in Victoria,” he said.
Point Lonsdale SLSC volunteers patrol the nearby popular beaches every summer.
Last season, its lifesavers performed 1,715 preventive actions, treated 12 minor and one major first aid case and carried out 17 rescues.
The Victorian Government has previously contributed $2.2 million to support the construction of the new clubhouse.
Located on Ocean and Buckleys roads, the facility is about three times the size of the old clubhouse.
Point Lonsdale SLSC past president Matt Ponsford said the club had worked closely with the community and neighbouring residents to refine the design of the almost-complete clubhouse – which the club took possession of earlier this month – and planned to do the same with the back beach base.
“We did a lot of consultation and we got no objections, so hopefully it’s the same with the back beach site,” he said.
Ms Tierney acknowledged the work Ms Neville had done in partnership with the club in securing the funding.
“The funding will ensure the dedicated Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club lifeguards and lifesavers can effectively patrol this beach over summer and well into the future,” she said.
“I congratulate and thank the club, led by president Charlie Pitney, on their ongoing commitment and work in keeping beachgoers safe.”