SURF lifesavers have welcomed a financial boost from the City of Wanneroo’s unspent funds and commitment to annual funding.
The council decided last week to allocate $33,250 each to Yanchep and Quinns-Mindarie surf life saving clubs retrospectively for the 2015-16 season from unspent money allocated to the beach safety education and awareness program.
The council also agreed to give the two clubs up to $40,000 a year through a funding model agreement that will start in the 2016-17 patrol season.
Quinns-Mindarie SLSC vice-president Neville Hogan said the club appreciated the “significant” funding boost.
“We’ve been lobbying with the City of Wanneroo for a fair while now about getting some funding,” he said.
“In the future it’s certainly going to help us in our patrolling, help us to buy and purchase more equipment.”
Mr Hogan said the club had also received requests from north coast developers to establish roving beach patrols, so the funding could help establish those.
Yanchep club president John Heesters said the extra funds were well-timed ahead of the club moving into its new building later this year.
“This is unbelievably great for our club,” he said.
“We are at a transformational stage; we are moving to a new facility at the end of this year.”
Mr Heesters said it would help the club buy extra equipment and build furnishings such as surf- board and surfski racks in the building, which would be four times bigger than the old facility.
He said the timing was also good news after a recent break-in at the club when beach buggies, fridges and the roller door were damaged.
Mr Heesters said the funds would also help the club continue its training programs for junior and patrolling members, as well as in the community.
Anyone interested in becoming a patrolling member can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council report compares funding offered by other cities
A REPORT on the May 24 agenda said staff had consulted 10 other local governments that had metropolitan surf life saving clubs, and found that four made annual payments to their clubs – Joondalup, Stirling, Cambridge and Rockingham.
“Payments ranged from $2000 to $62,000,” it said.
The report said half the proposed funding could go towards voluntary lifesaver patrols, with another 30 per cent for beach safety and education awareness, and 20 per cent for club development activities.
“Clubs play an important role in the delivery of beach safety services every summer through the provision of voluntary (lifesaver) patrols,” the report said.
“This service augments the professional lifeguard service provided by Surf Life Saving WA at the City’s main swimming beach each summer.
“The funding model also recognises the role that the clubs can and do play in respect to emergency response situations.”
The final amount would have to be confirmed and allocated through the City’s 2016-17 Budget deliberations.
The report proposed to pay half at the start of each patrol season, in October, and half at the end, in April.
The funding proposal stemmed from a March decision by the council regarding coastal risk assessments that called for investigation into providing financial support for clubs.