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Council Splashes Out On Local Wave Of Renovation

By Emma Norris on May 19, 2011 in News

For me, the Coogee and Clovelly Surf Clubs conjure up two images. The first is my Year 11 Reflection Day, one of the final gatherings of my tight-knit year group. The second is my mum’s 50th birthday party, a blur of intoxicated rellos, embarrassing speeches and Kasey Chambers sing-alongs. The diversity of my experiences is a testament to the variety of opportunities offered by these multi-generational spaces.

Randwick City Council’s 2010 Community Consultation reflects that many other locals share the same respect for these iconic surf clubs. As part of this consultation, Randwick residents were required to complete a number of surveys and submissions. The results determined that community facilities were a necessary area of improvement. Once they were able to gauge community priorities, Council assembled the $34.8 million, seven-year Buildings for Our Community Program. Four projects for the 2010/11 financial year were outlined under this initiative including work on the Coogee Surf Club, Clovelly Surf Club, South Maroubra Surf Club and Pioneers Park.

The $200,000 redevelopment of the Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club is currently underway as part of the second project under the Buildings for Our Community program. Work started in late April and is expected to take six weeks, with completion scheduled for mid-June. The repair work will focus on eliminating concrete cancer and fixing moisture and drainage problems and there will also be structural repairs to the walls, ceilings and steps of the building.

Randwick Mayor Murray Matson pointed out the importance of the renovations.

“Nearly 700,000 people visited Clovelly Beach over summer so it’s important the volunteer lifesavers have a quality facility to work out of,” Mayor Matson said.

The upgrades follow the first phase of internal refurbishments carried out in the club last year, including female toilets, an extension of the gym and a new boat shed. Randwick Council also contributed $165,000 towards a new storage facility, which contains the club’s rescue and resuscitation equipment.

According to Clovelly SLSC club president Jim King, Council’s help has been invaluable.

“We are not able to raise money in a normal commercial way due to the club’s legal status, so we couldn’t have done the renovations without the help of the council,” King told The Beast.

Coogee Surf Club has already embarked on a remediation project, repairing the club’s staircases and footpath areas, and waterproofing and painting the walls externally. The club also used funds from the State Government to refurbish the building’s interior.

But what do non-club members think about state government and local council expenditure on these facilities? One resident, Lyn Jarvis, who has lived in Clovelly for 17 years, was far from impressed.

“The surf club doesn’t have that many members because you have to pay a lot of money to join. The council’s money would be better spent on something used by the general public,” Jarvis said.

Nineteen year-old Coogee resident Alex Tamas expressed a similar viewpoint.

“I guess things need to be renovated and kept in shape so that people can enjoy them in the future, but spending a lot of money on something that only benefits a minority isn’t the wisest thing to do,” Tamas said.

Whether or not everyone agrees with it, the Clovelly and Coogee Surf Clubs are likely to continue to develop and flourish with the assistance of the Council, allowing them to be enjoyed by many generations to come.