Holding the plans for the clubhouse upgrade are Brian Kenny, Douglas Jardine and Andrew Chubb.
Holding the plans for the clubhouse upgrade are Brian Kenny, Douglas Jardine and Andrew Chubb. Blainey Woodham

Fingal clubhouse rebuild

FINGAL’S surf life saving club has been given council approval to push ahead with a long-awaited $750,000 rebuilding program that will update its almost 60-year-old clubhouse.

But the project, which could still hinge on a last-minute application to the NSW Government for funding, was opposed by Tweed Shire Greens Party councillor Katie Milne, who works in a Fingal cafe and art gallery, because she says it won’t fit in with the laid-back seaside attitude of the neighbourhood.

Other councillors rejected her bid to defer any consideration of the Fingal Rovers Surf Life Saving Club’s development application, clearing the way for the addition of a second on the southern part of the building, a new outdoor deck and a new observation deck to help save lives.

Cr Milne said she was “strongly opposed” to the plans because “they are not very sympathetic to the Fingal seaside village environment”.

“I don’t believe it needs to be turned into a full blown fancy development such as this,” she said.

“It should be redeveloped in keeping with what it is now.”

Club president Andrew Chubb described the council approval as “excellent” but said it left only days for the club to lodge an application for a state government grant to fund the rebuilding.

The application for the grant, under the NSW Surf Club Facility Development Program, must be lodged by today and Mr Chubb said he would board a plane to Sydney to get it in on time if a strike by Australia Post workers looked like causing delays.

“We’ve had a team of the architect, town planner, myself and others working on this for 18 months,” Mr Chubb said.

Mr Chubb revealed the club had missed out on a grant last year due to red tape surrounding various leases of land the club has used since it was founded in 1932 by the Murwillumbah Sea Scouts.

“The original building was built in the late 1950s and the extension out the front was done in the 70s,” he said.

“We’ve been seeing other clubs getting financial support from the state. We’ve been saying ‘it’s our turn’.  We’ve been saving money for a few years but we are not out of the woods yet.”

Mr Chubb said the club had set up a “donate-a-brick” program where people can donate various amounts, with all donations over $2 tax deductible.

People wishing to donate can visit the club’s website www.fingalrovers-slsc.com and click on the “Please donate here” button or send a cheque to the club care of PO Box 25 Fingal Head, NSW, 2487.



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