QUINNS Mindarie Surf Life Saving Club (QMSLSC) has received funding promises for a surf patrol tower from both major parties.
As part of their State Election commitments, Deputy Premier Liza Harvey said Liberals would give $250,000 for the tower if re-elected, while Butler MLA John Quigley said Labor would provide $70,000 if it won the March 11 election.
According to the Government statement, QMSLSC had proposed a permanent tower that would be a lightweight structure with a storeroom underneath.
“A new patrol tower would overcome a number of logistical problems the club faces in patrolling this area,” Ms Harvey said.
“When there is an emergency, the new watch tower will also mean ambulances will have direct access to the beach and tower where first aid can be administered.
“That avoids the need to carry bulky and expensive equipment over sand and around dunes.”
The club’s vice president Neville Hogan said volunteers and Surf Life Saving WA’s paid lifeguards would use the tower to watch over Quinns Beach.
“What we are planning long-term is an observation post,” he said.
“It would be an ideal base for lifeguards on week days.”
Mr Hogan said both parties had offered to help fund it and “the City is also on board”.
The club unsuccessfully petitioned for an observation tower in early 2013.
Mr Quigley said the club approached him as patron for help.
“(They) asked me what fundraising I could assist them with to buy them an observation pod; this is a standard facility organised by Surf Life Saving WA,” he said.
“I have given them a guarantee that if elected, Labor will give them $70,000 for an observation pod.”
Liberal candidate for Hillarys Peter Katsambanis and Ms Harvey visited Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club on February 4 to announce the party would commit $75,000 for a mobile patrol tower there.
Both announcements follow the installation of shark protection barriers at Quinns and Sorrento beaches.
“The recently-installed safe swimming enclosure has been so popular it has changed the way people are using the beach and where they are swimming,” Ms Harvey said.
Mr Katsambanis said a mobile tower would overcome logistical issues that faced patrolling the area further north of its facilities.
“In the event of an emergency the tower would avoid the need to carry bulky and expensive equipment over sand and around dunes to the more northern part of the beach,” he said.
Labor candidate for Hillarys Teresa Ritchie said her party would make its commitments to beach safety known in coming weeks.
“The Liberals have been in government for eight years; if they were serious about safety at the beach, they would have made this announcement years ago,” she said.
The mobile patrol tower would be a lightweight tower that has a minimal beach footprint and provides an elevated and expansive view along the beach.
Mr Quigley said his party could not assess Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club’s final needs since construction of its new facilities stalled last year.
“There is no commitment at this stage, but WA Labor would of course be ready to assist Yanchep as soon as the current imbroglio has been sorted by the City of Wanneroo,” he said.
“There is also a question as to where a tower might be best placed at Yanchep – that is, built into the ‘stalled’ surf club under construction or whether the club and community would like it further north.”