Funding cut leaves surf club short

By LEONIE BRANN

THE struggling Fingal Rovers Surf Life Saving Club could have made good use of the $320,000 for clubhouse renovations that Tweed Shire administrators have cut from the seven-year plan, club president Rex Budd said.

The club has confirmed it will not close its doors as long as it has a group of 20 or so dedicated members.

However, Mr Budd said the money would have helped attract more people to join.

"I think the state of the clubhouse doesn't help attract new members," he said, referring to the simple weatherboard building that the club calls home.

Mr Budd said the club deserved help considering it provides lifesaving services to Fingal Head Beach over summer and Easter.

"We would have used the money to build new training facilities and a first aid area.

"It would have upgraded rooms that are regularly used by the community as well."

He said it was disappointing that the community did not show its support for the $133 million of infrastructure works planned by council in its seven-year plan.

"I guess something had to be cut," Mr Budd said.

"We wouldn't be able to fun- draise that amount as a lump sum, but we won't give up on doing the repairs, because the club's future depends on it."

Council's acting general manager Mike Rayner said it was a tough choice for staff and administrators to decide what should be cut from the seven-year plan.

He said the proposed funding for the club was part of $15.1 million slashed from the plan.

"We had to chose items that were only to be funded from by rate revenue, which did not leave us with many places to go," he said.

Mr Rayner said in the short-term there looks to be no way to fund the surf club upgrade.

He said government grants may be one way to fund the improvements in the future.

Planned work for the Tweed River foreshore at Fingal Head, which would have cost $450,000, was also cut from the draft sevenyear plan.

Other project funding that was cut included $500,000 from the planned $1 million for a neighbourhood centre at Pottsville; axing a $200,000 plan to replace the leaking roof at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre; funding for youth services cut by $200,000 to $256,000; and the axing of future stages of the Cabarita skatepark costed at $400,000.



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