BEACH PUSH: Junior lifesaving training at Peregian Beach - locals want to see their surf club thriving next summer.
BEACH PUSH: Junior lifesaving training at Peregian Beach - locals want to see their surf club thriving next summer. Contrbuted

Plea for common ground of surf club's future

SIGNIFICANT confusion and division exists in the local community about the future of lifesaving services at Peregian Beach and the feasibility of the proposed clubhouse relocation.

That is the view of Noosa Council's property adviser Denis Wallace, who has written a report to the council which "clarifies issues from council's perspective and identifies the significant difficulties in any proposal to relocate the clubhouse to another location”.

Mr Wallace identifies a location, proposed by the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club, which has charge of Peregian lifesaving services, about 40m north of the existing club and 25m closer to the beach to the existing skatepark.

"In 2017, NHSLSC indicated to council and the community it was considering its options and future at Peregian Beach, including a concept for a larger relocated clubhouse with ocean views,” he said.

"The club initially stated views of the ocean were needed to make the supporters club financially viable, but subsequently advised it is needed for safety for surveillance of the beach and better access.”

Mr Wallace said while state planning legislation provided for surf clubs within coastal environments as "coastal dependent development”, it clearly stated it could only occur where development could not feasibly be located elsewhere.

"Council staff are of the firm opinion the existing location of the surf club is feasible,” he said.

"Staff have advised NHSLSC the latest coastal hazard mapping reaffirms any move east toward the ocean would increase risks from coastal erosion and is highly unlikely to be supported.

"Given the constraints to relocation, council staff have formally advised NHSLSC any redevelopment options should focus on the existing site. Despite this, the club and its proponents continue to publicly suggest a relocation is a feasible option.

"All parties should be encouraged to harness the significant common ground and goodwill across the community in focusing on available options at the existing site.”

Leigh McCready of Peregian Family and Friends Association said surf lifesaving bodies such as SLSQ and Noosa Heads SLSC "are the entities capable of drawing conclusions about the feasibility of a surf club such as Peregian, rather than Noosa Council”.

"As a community organisation which has spent significant time listening to the Peregian community about this issue, we know what is important to Peregian people, and that is establishing a surf club which will not be vulnerable to future failure.

"Our advice shows a future Peregian Surf Lifesaving Club, affiliated with Surf Lifesaving Australia, is not only achievable, but endorsed by the community.

"Peregian Family and Friends Association is optimistic that Noosa Council will begin to listen to our community's opinion on this issue, and assist in bringing an important public service back to Peregian in a way that ensures its sustainability for future generations,” Ms McCready said.

Rob Neely of the Peregian Beach Surf Club, a group looking to re-establish a local club on the current site, said the report was "an accurate summation of where the community finds itself today”.

"Following the recent community meting held on 19th May, our committee listened to what the community said and have now put together a comprehensive 60-page plan that we will be releasing in the next seven days.

"We have incorporated all of the suggestions from the public meeting including working together with Noosa Heads SLSC in continuation of services from the existing clubhouse.

"The community wants the Peregian Beach SLSC building back in community hands so that we can reinvigorate this long-standing community asset.”