Community to miss out on new Edithvale Life Saving Club after project blocked
30 August 2017
Edithvale may miss out on a brand new Life Saving Club after the Department of Land, Water & Planning refused permission for the project.
Kingston Mayor David Eden said Council has been working closely with the Edithvale Life Saving Club and Life Saving Victoria over the past few months to develop initial designs for a new building to provide the club with state-of-the-art facilities.
“The Victorian Government has supported the project with $1.5million funding, but we have just been advised that the State Government Department of Land, Water & Planning will not approve the project,” Cr Eden said.
“Council has been consulting the department throughout the process and made a number of design changes in response, so we are incredibly disappointed that the community may miss out on this vital facility.”
Edithvale Life Saving Club was founded in 1919 and occupies the oldest building on Port Philip Bay.
“The current building has served the community well but is ageing and needs replacing,” Cr Eden said. “Every summer more than 20,000 visitors flock to Edithvale beach to enjoy the sun and the sea and it’s vital that the Life Saving Club has the facilities it needs to ensure the public’s safety in the water.”
Cr Eden said Council had hoped to build the new facility the same location and have it opened in time for the Edithvale Life Saving Club’s centenary celebrations in 2019.
The building was to be funded by the Victorian Government ($1.5million) and Kingston Council ($1.95million). Kingston Council has invested significantly in successfully upgrading and replacing local Life Saving Clubs in recent years including the new Carrum Life Saving Club and the recently completed Mordialloc Life Saving Club.
Edithvale Life Saving Club President Dianne Montalto said the club was incredibly disappointed and hoped the decision could be reversed.
“We are an official Emergency Services Club recognised through Life Saving Victoria and overseen by the Victorian Emergency Services Minister alongside Police, Fire and Ambulance services so it’s frustrating to have one arm of the Victorian Government working against another.”
“Edithvale Beach is a ‘blackspot’ for drownings and we had been looking forward to improved facilities to provide much-needed extra storage and training space,” Ms Montalto said.
“We have a strong club that is growing in numbers and the new building would have helped us respond faster in emergency situations and continue our role as a leader in multicultural engagement.”
“We have trained some of the first life guards from multicultural backgrounds to help improve education and safety among communities that do not have a strong background or knowledge of water safety.”