Life saving club redesigned for coast

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Demolition imminent: Lifesaving Club building. Picture: Gary Sissons

A RETHINK and redesign may see a $3.4 million redevelopment of the Edithvale Life Saving get back on track after initial plans were ruled non-compliant with the Coastal Management Act by the Department of Land, Water & Planning (DELWP).

Kingston Council and the Edithvale Life Saving Club have put together new designs for the club’s base in the wake of the state government department’s rejection of the first proposal (“Clubhouse in coastal ‘dog house’”, The News 4/10/17).

“Council had consulted the department throughout the process and had made a number of design changes, so we were incredibly disappointed when the project was not able to proceed,” Kingston mayor Cr Steve Staikos said.

“We are determined that the community will not miss out on this vital facility and council will be submitting the new plans for approval so we can get on with the job.”

Edithvale Life Saving Club was founded in 1919 and occupies the oldest building on Port Philip Bay.

“The current building has served the community well but is ageing and needs replacing,” Cr Staikos said.

“Every summer more than 20,000 visitors flock to Edithvale beach and it’s vital that the life saving club has the facilities it needs to ensure the public’s safety in the water.”

Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson says he has asked Labor Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosia to direct the DELWP to “work closely” with Kingston Council on new designs to ensure compliance with the Coastal Management Act 1995.

Edithvale Life Saving Club president Dianne Montalto said the club is keen to see the project proceed.

“Edithvale beach is a ‘blackspot’ for drownings and we had been looking forward to improved facilities to provide much-needed extra storage and training space,” Ms Montalto said.

“We have a strong club that is growing in numbers and the new building would have helped us respond faster in emergency situations and continue our role as a leader in multicultural engagement.

“We have trained some of the first lifeguards from multicultural backgrounds to help improve education and safety among communities that do not have a strong background or knowledge of water safety.”

Edithvale Life Saving Club was founded in 1919 and occupies the oldest building on Port Philip Bay.

“The current building has served the community well but is ageing and needs replacing,” Cr Staikos said.

The new clubhouse will be funded by a $1.95 million commitment from Kingston Council and $1.5 million in funding from the state government.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 6 December 2017

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