Patrols still on despite funding shortfall

THE funding shortfall that prevented the Bridport Surf Life Saving Club from completing its beachfront headquarters had little effect on the club's operations, acting president Paul Hawkins said.

A blowout in environmental planning and excavation costs saw work on the club's headquarters stall more than a month ago.

But Mr Hawkins said although the clubhouse had no power and the club lacked the funds to fit a roof, the facility was functional for storage and opened on December 1 for a summer season of beach patrols.

"The water's on and our equipment is stored there," he said.

"And we have a couple of pop-up gazebos inside for when the kids come back from the beach.

"If it's blowing a gale - it's not ideal, but we can operate from it.

"Future works are planned to revegetate the area in front of the clubhouse, grass it to make it safe and usable for the public and surf lifesavers.

"We don't have a date for when the roof will be done - we're currently seeking funding.

"We had to move the building back further than originally planned, because of some decisions made by the local council and that meant we then had to do further planning.

"And moving [the building] back further meant we had further excavation costs and didn't have the money left for the roof."

Mr Hawkins said the cost of the roof was estimated at $48,000, but the club needed about $125,000-$130,000 all up for the roof and power.

"The club had a quote from Aurora for $52,000 to connect the power and we're in the middle of putting together a budget, with the state election coming up, to see how the various parties can help," he said.

Mr Hawkins said the Goftons Beach area in front of the clubhouse had become a popular swimming area with other sections of the beach having suffered from erosion because of rough stormy weather.

He said between 40 and 50 people congregated at Goftons on Saturday within 10 minutes of the flags being erected.

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