'treacherous' beach may be unguarded
By PETER CATON
SURF patrols at one of the Tweed Coast's most popular beaches during the Christmas New Year holiday period could be ditched. Casuarina Beach developer Consolidated Properties, which contributed $10,000 to the cost of contracted surf lifeguards last year, is refusing to do so again. It's up to Tweed Shire Council administrators to decide on Wednesday whether to fork out $28,000 of ratepayers' funds for the patrol. The cost would be on top of $122,000 for patrolling other beaches and would exceed the council's budget this year for paid lifesavers by more than $20,000. The council has been inundated with more than 50 submissions supporting the need for patrols at Casuarina Beach. Father of three young children Scott Lindley has told the council Casuarina Beach has already had one fatality this year and with a busy summer ahead it would be disastrous and irresponsible to allow that to happen again. Another resident, and a consultant in emergency medicine, Dr Hugo Poncia said the beach could be "treacherous" and it was essential a lifeguard be provided in the busy period. Casuarina Beach Residents Association president Julie Bennett said Consolidated Properties had made a "one-off" donation last year but it was time for the council to take over.