Club house in coastal ‘dog house’

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Time to go: The Edithvale Life Saving Club is set to be redesigned and rebuilt. Picture: Gary Sissons

A REDESIGN of the Edithvale Life Saving Club has hit a snag after a state government department declared the proposed new clubhouse does not meet Coastal Management Act regulations.

Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson has asked the department to go back to the drawing board to work with Kingston Council to keep a $3.4 million plan to demolish the existing building and construct new premises on track.

In state parliament last month, Mr Richardson formally asked Labor Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio “to direct the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning [DELWP] to closely work with the City of Kingston to broker a design and building solution to comply with the Coastal Management Act 1995 for Edithvale Life Saving Club”.

“This is a fantastic lifesaving club in my electorate, and it will celebrate its centenary in 2019. It is a club that supports some of the 22,000 visitors that flock to Edithvale beach each and every summer.

“It has a wonderful committee that is also dedicated to supporting our first-generation Australians, who in the case of some countries have been landlocked and have never seen water or the ocean.

“They are supporting our migrant communities and our refugee communities to learn safety around beaches and around our waterways,” Mr Richardson said.

“Recently we hit a bit of a hurdle with the current designs not complying with the Coastal Management Act and some of those plans needing to be redesigned. This is a disappointing setback but something on which we need to work together with the City of Kingston and the department to try to get the best solution, because we do not want this project held up unnecessarily.

“It is a partnership with the state government, with $1.5 million from the Victorian government, and the City of Kingston, with a more than $1.9 million investment, so everyone wants to see this project go ahead.”

At the 25 September public council meeting, Kingston Council CEO John Nevins indicated council is discussing a partial redesign of the Edithvale Life Saving Club with state government representatives.

“The DELWP is required to assess each application on its merits. At present, discussions are continuing with [the] DELWP about the Edithvale Life Saving Club,” Mr Nevins said when answering a query during the public question time segment of the council meeting.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 4 October 2017

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