CAPTION: Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville and Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson with representatives from the Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale surf clubs and community.
AFTER almost 10 years in the making, the first sod of Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club’s (OGSLSC) new complex was turned at the weekend. Representatives from three tiers of government joined OGSLSC President David Pavia, along with excited club members and supporters, to celebrate the start of construction of the Ocean Grove Surf Beach Complex on Saturday morning.
Corangamite federal member Sarah Henderson said the sod turn was an exciting time for the club and herself after a very long journey together. “There is no doubt that this has been an incredibly long road and I am so proud to have stayed with the club and worked with them to advocate their needs, which goes back to when I was first a candidate in late 2009,” Ms Henderson said.
“The volunteers do an incredible job and David to you and your team this has been such a labour of love over such a long time and to do what you’ve done and to get to the point of turning the sod is completely unbelievable.”
Ms Henderson said the sod turn would lead to a very exciting future for the club, its members and the Ocean Grove community. Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said OGSLSC’s new complex would be one of Victoria’s best once complete.
The sod turn comes after Ms Neville announced an additional $1.2 million for the club from this year’s state budget, which comes on top of the previously promised and delivered $2.7 million. “We had to get this done, it’s a critical organisation on our coast,” Ms Neville said.
“I always say, Point Lonsdale is the most dangerous beach in Victoria and Ocean Grove is the most popular beach. “I think this is going to be an asset here for many, many years to come.” Ms Neville said the club had been patient, never gave up, pushed her government and tried to do everything in its power to obtain the funding.
“And it’s so pleasing to be able to back the club for this facility,” she said. The clubhouse rebuild will not affect patrols during the 2018-19 summer.
Members of Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club also attended the sod turn after receiving $500,000 from the state budget last week, which comes on top of state government funding of $1.5 million in 2017 for the upgrade to their clubrooms – it fulfils the shortfall needed to complete the works.
Ms Henderson said that “Point Lonnie as a club is also working very hard to realise its dream and build new clubrooms”.