THE fate of the much-discussed Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club’s observation tower has been secured following an agreement between the lifesaving club and the Bass Coast Shire Council.
The tower will be moved to a safer location on the Inverloch surf beach, just in time for the annual influx of tourists.
At a meeting held between council officers and the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club on Thursday, December 1, the lifesaving club made the decision to withdraw its appeal against the council’s previously issued building order to remove the tower.
Claire Smith, manager of Community Health and Wellbeing at the Bass Coast Shire Council, said the tower will be moved within days, just in time for the busy tourism season.
“The tower is due to be moved to the end of the new track to the Inverloch surf beach in early December,” Claire said.
“It’s all been planned out, but the move is all tidal and weather dependent.
“Council and the lifesaving club have had several meetings over the past few weeks to find a solution, and council officers have helped to facilitate a move to a new location.”
The move is also dependant on the surf club volunteers. According to president Fiona McMahon-Hughes, the club will not be ready to move the tower until closer to December 15.
“We’ve reached agreement and the good news is that the tower stays on the beach,” Mrs McMahon-Hughes said.
“The whole aim was to have the patrol tower in use for the summer peak and fingers crossed, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Mrs McMahon-Hughes said the tower would be erected on skids and where necessary, could be moved in the event of further erosion.
“But we think that the position we are moving to will be less vulnerable and that this will be a long-term solution.
“Hopefully we can have it up and going by Boxing Day, which of course is when numbers really kick up here at the beach.”
New councillors Cr Julian Brown, Cr Brett Tessari and Cr Les Larke from the Bunurong Ward quickly supported the lifesaving club in their endeavour to keep the tower.
All three councillors wrote to Minister, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio on November 11 to seek her assistance; a move that was supported by Bass MP Brian Paynter.
At a council meeting held last week, Cr Brown put forth a motion that the council support the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club through the statutory approval process required to move the observation tower to a new location on new footings. The motion was supported by all councillors.
Meanwhile club preparations are busy. This week, there’s the second of the week-long bronze camps on the go with 24 new surf lifesavers being put through their paces.
There’s also SRC training for the Under 15 lifesavers and on two weekends in January (Jan 8, 14 and 15), there’s adult bronze training on offer.