Caba clubhouse on way
By ROXANNE MILLAR
IT would have come as no surprise to have seen Cabarita Surf Life Saving Club president Patrick Raftery breathe a sigh of relief yesterday.
The dilapidated former home of the surf club finally began to be demolished yesterday in preparation for building to begin on a new clubhouse in May.
For Mr Raftery, watching the battlescarred building be torn down was the best form of therapy following a sixyear battle to have a new club built.
"That is all over now. I knew we would get it happening but I think a lot of people in the community might have thought they had heard it all before," he said.
"They had been hearing about a new surf club for almost 20 years."
Putting the contention and controversy behind him, Mr Raftery said members were now looking to the future and the new facilities that would come with it.
"This will be a focal point of Cabarita and the Tweed, it will not be a closed club," he said.
"We will have enough space to train in inclement weather. It is very welcome because you can't patrol a beach and keep up that commitment if you are worrying about the state of your building."
Cabarita SLSC members were yesterday on hand to help clean up the site, along with the help of Salt and Koala Beach developer the Ray Group.
The group donated expert help to remove asbestos sheeting in a move development manager Steve MacRae said was community motivated.
"We wanted to lend a hand. It is more about lifesaving. We would like to see a synergy between the Cabarita club, Salt, Cudgen and Fingal clubs so the whole beach is strategically patrolled," he said. Construction work on the new clubhouse is expected to be finished within eight months.