Surf rescue outpost concern

SURF safety is causing controversy at Pottsville, with the proposal of a lifesaving outpost building at Cudgera Beach.

If approved by the Tweed Shire Council, the $150,000 single-storey building will function as a storage area for patrol equipment with a first-aid room, toilet and shower.

A council spokeswoman admitted it  “won’t mean more patrols” but insisted “volunteer patrol members will be able to respond to emergency situations quicker”.

The reserve area behind Elanora Avenue has been proposed as the best site for construction, but neighbouring residents disagree and have voiced concern about loss of ocean view, building-management issues and problems associated with public toilet facilities.

In response, the council has proposed to keep the building as small as possible and will ensure “the access path to the building is locked and only accessible to fire vehicles, surf patrollers on duty and council maintenance staff”.

Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club members have patrolled the popular beach for 14 years with limited amenities and no storage facilities.

Surf club president Patrick Raftery said the club was in support of the project, and would offer in-kind contributions to complement Tweed Shire Council funding.

“We don’t have any funding available at the moment,” Mr Raftery said.

“However, we will supply the patrols and the equipment.”

If approved, the building should be completed in time for the busy 2011/2012 summer holidays.

Submissions to the proposal will remain open until Wednesday, September 22, with construction scheduled to begin July 2011.

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