IT’S now been over 200 days since the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club (WLSC) and Cape Paterson were bashed by the ‘freak storm,’ but it was only last Friday, following the visit of two Liberal MPs, that the WLSC finally received planning permits for temporary facilities.
The Bass Coast Shire Council granted permits to allow the club to install emergency facilities, such as shipping containers and a temporary clubhouse – barely in time for summer.
President of the club Mark Scott says this is step one finally completed.
“Patrolling is starting this weekend (November 30); now we can finally install temporary facilities for our life-saving operations,” said Mark.
The Labor Government committed to funding temporary facilities for the club.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale says the temporary structures will be implemented as soon as possible.
“Funding $175,000 was allocated to get temporary facilities up and running to make sure the club could provide its critical lifesaving services over the busy summer season.”
Earlier on Friday, Liberal MPs Edward O’Donohue and Tim Smith visited Mark.
“This is beyond the councils, it’s a matter for the State Labor Government to step up to the plate and match the funding that the Coalition put on the table at the last election,” said Member for Eastern Victoria Edward O’Donohue.
Mark’s primary concern is now set on the boat ramp access, that is estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to safely engineer.
“Right now, we can’t use our boat ramp, lifeguards can barely run down the sand dune. It now takes six to eight minutes to launch a boat,” Mark said.
Shadow Minister for Local Government and Shadow Minister for Planning and Heritage, Tim Smith, was concerned the added launch time for boats could be deadly.
“The Liberal Party committed $2 million to rebuild the club at the last election and Labor are completely ignoring this really important local asset,” said Mr Smith.
Ms Crugnale said: “We continue to work with the club, Life Saving Victoria and Bass Coast Shire Council to determine the requirements for a new clubhouse.”