By LUKE VOOGT
FEDERAL Labor candidate for Corangamite Libby Coker visited Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club (OGSC) this month to forecast a “significant contribution” to the club’s future.
“I am a lobbying hard for a package for lifesaving clubs in the west of Corangamite,” she said on 2 March.
So far the Victorian Government has committed $2.675m to OGSLSC’s proposed $4.5m to $5m upgrade, with the club raising an additional $300,000.
Mrs Coker said her package would include a significant Federal contribution to an upgrade.
However, she said she was unable to specify the amount for each club until closer to election time.
OGSLSC has grown from 200 to 1000-plus members since its last clubhouse upgrade in 1995.
Club president Steve Peatling said the expansion of the club had caused problems with access, storage and deploying lifesaving equipment within the existing clubhouse.
“For about 200 members it was probably about right,” he said.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t foresee the massive growth that would occur in that time.”
Mr Peatling said parts of the clubhouse were deteriorating and its training and conference facilities are limiting its ability to function.
“And our changerooms are on a mid-level – which is an OHS issue,” he said.
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson also visited the club on 5 March to promote the Federal Government’s commitment to lifesaving.
“I am fighting hard to deliver an election commitment to the club,” said Ms Henderson, who is co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving Committee.
She pointed out the Turnbull government had provided $8 million – or $25,000 per club – over five years for lifesaving equipment.