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Working together after the storm

Working together after the storm

Friday 7 June 2019

Bass Coast Shire Council, the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club (WLSC), Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and the State Government are working in collaboration to move forward after a devastating storm caused damage to the Club's buildings at Cape Paterson recently.

A steering group has now been formed in a partnership approach with representatives from WLSC, LSV, Emergency Services Infrastructure Authority (ESIA) and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Council.

The first priority of the Steering Group is to determine how the Club will deliver its life saving services across the summer period and the supporting infrastructure required. Temporary services are expected to be in place for at least three summer seasons, while the Club seeks to build new facilities.

The State Government has provided the Club with $175,000 to assist with the continued service delivery and temporary facility infrastructure. These funds will contribute to the lifesaving club being able to provide essential coastal services over the busy summer months.

The storm, which saw over 100mm of rain and hail fall in a matter of hours, caused widespread damage across Cape Paterson.

The Life Saving Club's observation building suffered substantial damage when storm water flooding washed away its beach access ramp and the Club's training and meeting room also suffered severe water damage.

The Steering Group will meet in three weeks' time, following the completion of structural engineering reports and coastal engineering assessment. These assessments will inform the next steps, guiding decisions regarding retaining elements of the existing structures, or demolition.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said that it is great to see a collaborative partnership approach across agencies.

"Council will continue to work with the Club, the State Government and Life Saving Victoria on the next steps," Cr Tessari said.

Mark Scott, President of WLSC, explained that a collaborative and coordinated approach would be needed to make progress with the huge job ahead.

"The damage to our club buildings is significant and devastating not only to us, but the whole community," Mr Scott said.

"The Club is committed to moving forward and working together with Council, the State Government, LSV and all stakeholders to achieve the best outcomes for the community."

Steering committee - Wonthaggi Life Saving Club
The recently formed Steering Committee, back from left Michael Cross (ESIA), David Roche (ESIA), Deidre Griepsma (BCSC), Kellinde Chester (DELWP) and front from left, Mark Scott (WLSC) and Paul Shannon (LSV).