SURF lifesavers say they will still patrol Yanchep Lagoon this summer, despite delays in building their new home.
Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president John Heesters said the volunteers would continue to operate from the old club building when the season starts next month.
Originally due for completion in November, work on the $6.78 million surf club stalled about five weeks ago.
The Weekender understands the City of Wanneroo is still negotiating with the builder Diploma Construction over its $4.53 million contract.
“It’s very obvious that there has been nothing happening on site,” Mr Heesters said.
While the building that the club has used since the early 1990s was run down, he said it could still be used in the interim.
“We would still operate out of the old surf club – that hasn’t been knocked down,” Mr Heesters said. And he said it looked likely the club would only be able to move into their new premises overlooking the lagoon in mid-2017.
In the interim, he said the club was negotiating with the City to reopen the access for members’ vehicles to the old building, which could also provide pedestrian access for the public.
“At the moment you can’t get to it unless you are a club member with a key,” he said.
“As long as we’ve got that (access), our members can get to the club and I can guarantee we will provide services to the community this summer.”
Mr Heesters said the delays were disappointing as the club hoped to invest in better equipment and increase its membership numbers once it moved into the bigger, more secure facility.
“At the old building, we are pretty much bursting at the seams,” he said.
The club plans to start its Sunday patrols a week earlier this season, on October 30, rather than when the abalone patrols start in the first weekend of November.
There will also be a paid lifeguard service at the beach on weekdays between November and March.
With beach access potentially restricted at the lagoon, Mr Heesters said they would keep an eye on the Fisherman’s Hollow beach farther south in case people used that instead.
“We may have to do more regular patrols down there – what we call roving patrols,” he said. Residents raised concerns about the construction delays at Monday’s Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association meeting.
Peter Stainthorpe said the temporary beach access via scaffolding stairs was “dangerous” and needed regular inspection.
“We must have access to the beach before it gets to summer,” he said.
Resident Bob Figg, who used to work for the City, said due to works around Mary Lindsay Homestead there was no beach access farther north either.
“There’s currently no access along there for anyone wanting to go to the beach,” he said.
“The life saving club should get priority.”
Wanneroo councillor Linda Aitken read out a statement from the City’s assets director Harminder Singh and said she could not comment further on it.
“”The City is concerned that works the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club are not progressing to schedule,” Mr Singh said.
“We are working with the contractor to re-establish the agreed program of works as a priority.”