PLEA: Nippers are keen to have access to all of Peregian Beach clubhouse.
PLEA: Nippers are keen to have access to all of Peregian Beach clubhouse. Contributed

Concerns over Peregian clubhouse nippers space

MORE than 320 people have signed an online petition urging Noosa Council to drop an expressions of interest proposal amid fears the process could see nippers denied the top storey use of the Peregian Beach lifesaving clubhouse.

The matter will be debated by councillors at Monday's general committee meeting, but Peregian Family and Friends Association fears lifesavers will be shut out of half of the facility.

This top floor no longer operates as the surf club's bar, bistro and entertainment and council planning staff have raised the possibility of issuing a permit for a non-profit community organisation especially with ocean links.

PFFA secretary and mother of four local nippers Leigh McCready has started the petition citing concerns this could finish the volunteer lifesaving revival at Peregian.

"Peregian Surf Life Saving members have been using the upper level of the clubhouse for the past four years to conduct nipper activities, volunteer lifesaver training and assessment, and social activities which bring the members together,” Ms McCready said.

"If another community group take over this space it could put an end to all local volunteer lifesaving, which would also leave the nipper program without volunteers and qualified supervision.

"We use the upstairs area of the Peregian surf club to run the nipper uniform shop, host events for volunteer and nipper parents, conduct training for volunteers and lifesavers, run weekly yoga sessions for members, and to conduct proficiency assessments for the lifesaving awards.”

She said the lifesaving and local community have worked hard in to re-launch during the 2018/19 season and had attracted around 110 nippers who had learned ocean survival skills on their local beach.

"It's a space that enables us to conduct all the activities necessary to continue to run a successful nippers' program and to keep our beaches patrolled by volunteers.

"To think that we could lose this space to a non-surf lifesaving group and put our future in jeopardy is just devastating,” Leigh said.

In successfully moving last Tuesday at the services committee for this matter to be debated by the full council, Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie, was told by staff the council could draft a community use permit that would allow "ad hoc” access to upstairs for lifesaving services as needed as part of a good neighbour clause.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the council could also make a final determination not to provide a permit to anyone and staff said this had been the case in previous EOI processes.

Cr Frank Pardon asked if an EOI from the nippers club would be acceptable and a senior planner confirmed that.

The planner said staff was expecting probable submissions from the lifesaving community.

To support the Peregian lifesavers to keep using

the upper level of the

clubhouse visit: