Deck debate set to reignite
THE row over Tweed Shire Council’s insistence that Cabarita Beach surf life savers pay expensive fees for approval of a deck on their clubhouse is set to re-surface at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The club has asked council to alter arrangements for a $56,730 loan the majority of councillors insist they take out.
The loan from the council would pay fees to cover the number of car parking spaces council staff estimate would be required by extra patrons attracted to the club by the deck.
Councillors on Tuesday will discuss waiving a requirement for executives of the volunteer club to put up personal guarantees for the 10-year loan and waive the seven per cent annual interest rate the council wanted to charge.
Club president Patrick Raftery said he was hoping for a sympathetic response from councillors.
“But I was also hoping (last month) they would be sympathetic to waiving the fees,” he added. “We can’t quite work out why they are not supportive of community organisations run by volunteers.”
Mr Raftery said it was tough to expect volunteer directors of the club to put up personal loan guarantees. The club was instead offering a legal agreement or a mortgage arrangement. He said seven per cent interest would absorb funds that help save lives.
“If we only pay the $57,000, rather than interest, it will save us a lot,” he said. “If the interest is applied we are going to end up paying nearly $100,000. That’s $100,000 we could spend on life-saving equipment.”