DONOR: Barry Cotterell.
DONOR: Barry Cotterell. Contributed

Surf club offer to SLSQ most likely

COMMUNITY use of the Peregian lifesaving clubhouse will be offered to local groups if councillors agree to a staff recommendation to issue a three-year building use permit to Surf Life Saving Queensland.

And the aim of SLSQ if given this tenure is to "establish an independent, financially sustainable, community-based, volunteer surf lifesaving club at Peregian by the end of the 2021/22 season”.

A report before Noosa Council reveals only two expressions of interest were received to for using the upper level for one year - one from a community-based Ocean Life Saving Association and the other from SLAQ's Sunshine Coast branch.

The EOI assessment was undertaken under independent a probity review by Crowe Horwath. Council's assessment panel considered the SLSQ's proposal "posed significant potential contributions to the local community, with a new local surf club entity likely to provide broad community benefit”.

The report said: "In regard to activation of the upper level, the panel noted the respondent indicated an intent to work with other groups such as Coolum & North Shore Coast Care, Surfriders and OLSA, stating it would: 'invite use of the top floor of the facility by local community groups provided this usage does not compromise surf lifesaving activities'.

"Council's assessment panel found both submissions to be of merit but recommends SLSC be offered a three-year permit for the entire building to allow it to progress the establishment of a new local surf club entity,” the report said.

The OLSA offered to use the space for a "life saving station” that as well as "supporting and enriching local lifesaving and nippers” would "bring together world-leading researchers on humpback whales, passionate Sunshine Coast turtle carers, leading bush, beach and dune care volunteers and other committed community groups”.

These groups would have a common goal "to bring the community with them to the front line of tackling our climate crisis”.

"Programs, activities and education that will be on offer by OLSA will enrich the traditional nippers' program by providing additional experiences with a strong focus on the coastal and ocean environment,” OLSA submitted to council.

The council report said: "The assessment panel agreed that whilst proposal was considered to complement and align with the reserve purpose, it did not strictly accord with the reserve purpose because surf lifesaving is not specifically proposed by OLSA”.

Mayor Tony Wellington and Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie took part in the services and organisation committee debate and endorsement despite declaring perceived conflict of interests. This related to personal $200 election campaign donations each from Peregian Beach Community Association president Barry Cotterell as the PBCA is listed as a partner group to OLSA.

Both councillors said they were not members of this group. A final vote will take place next Thursday.

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