Fraser Coast Chronicle

Life saving titles to cost Tweed $80,000

TWEED Shire Council is being asked to stump up $80,000 to hold the 2011 and 2012 NSW surf life saving championships at Kingscliff which organisers claim would attract 12,000 spectators.

Councillors are today due to vote on a recommendation from the council's general manager Mike Rayner that they approve setting aside the necessary $80,000 in planning for next year's budget.

They are also being asked to give the nod to council staff to prepare a formal proposal to Surf Life Saving NSW to host the events over the two years.

In a report to councillors, Mr Rayner said Surf Life Saving NSW claimed the championships would attract 12,000 spectators, 8000 competitors and 600 officials.

“The event provides a significant economic benefit for the host town and local region as well as providing the region with a unique action-packed sporting spectacle,” Mr Rayner said.

He said Cudgen headland Surf Life Saving Club president Brian Vickery had written to the council confirming his club backed the chance to host the titles.

“The club believes they can meet the criteria demanded of such a carnival and provide the material manpower needed to make it a success,” Mr Rayner said.

He said the championships would be held over a seven day period, including two weekends but did not indicate the likely month.

He said the council was required to provide a “minimum hosting fee of $60,000 plus GST” to fund the “management and logistical execution” of the event.

Council equipment and work valued at a further $20,000 would also be required.

“Council has an opportunity to host this event in 20111 for two years with an optional one year extension,” he said.

“With almost 8000 competitors between the ages of seven and 70 plus, the NSW Surf Lifesaving Championships is one of the largest surf life-saving events in Australia. The event grows in size and stature each year.”

Mr Rayner said Lake Macquarie City Council south of Newcastle, Sutherland Shire Council in Sydney and Gosford City and Shellharbour City councils had previously hosted the championships.

Individuals and teams would compete in events such as iron person, surf swims, surf ski paddling, board paddling, surf boat races, beach sprints plus rescue and resuscitation as well as first aid competitions.

Former mayor Cr Warren Polglase, who said he had been involved with surf life saving since the aged of 17, yesterday called on all councillors to support the event “100 per cent”.

“I think we all should support it,” Cr Polgalse said.

“It would be very disappointing if council didn't support it.

“All these national and international events help put the Tweed on the map.

“The accommodation houses will get good bookings and the restaurants will do a good trade.

“We need these sorts of things to keep the vibrancy of the area going in the sort of economic circumstances we are in.”

Cr Polglase said he believed Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club was well-placed to hold the event as it was a very strong club and had hosted a number of surf carnivals before.

The 2008 and 2009 NSW championships in February this year were held at Swansea Belmont surf club on Blacksmiths Beach and are due to be held there again next year.

Lake Macquarie Council played a large part in supporting Surf Life Saving NSW to host the championships for the three-year tenure.

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