Edithvale Life Saving Club’s plans make a splash

Edithvale Life Saving Club - Cameron Howe
Edithvale Life Saving Club redevelopment by Cameron Howe

Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
August 30, 2017

Founded in 1919, Edithvale Life Saving Club’s ageing clubhouse is set to be redeveloped for its 160 plus members that monitor the popular Bayside beach.

The Victorian Government has contributed $1.5 million towards the redevelopment, in addition to the $1.95 million from Kingston council, which will improve the club’s visibility of the beach when patrolling, and assist with meeting the club’s growing membership.

The structural integrity of the clubhouse was a concern, with an audit uncovering considerable deterioration of the roof structure that lead to the decision for a complete reconstruction, including the replacement of the decrepit public toilets outside.

The coastal themed design will retain a kiosk, however, the future tenancy remains unclear, as approvals have not yet been received for the building. According to Community Sustainability General Manager Mauro Bolin, “designs have been submitted to Council for planning approval and to the Victorian Government for Coastal Management Consent.”

Discussions are underway with the Department of Environmental Water Land and Planning, with final approvals pending regarding the external pathways.

Committee member Lesley McGurgan believes that the project will attract new members and make the club more attractive for leasing. “It means a whole new life for the Edithvale Life Saving Club,” she said.

Edithvale Life Saving Club President Dianne Montalto is pleased to see the project proceeding. The new clubhouse’s extra storage and training space are expected to enhance the club’s ability to oversee the more than 20,000 visitors who frequent the summertime hotspot.

“We have a strong club that is growing in numbers and the old building can no longer meet our needs,” Ms Montalto said. “The new centre will help us respond faster in emergency situations by quickly accessing emergency equipment to assist in rescue and resuscitation.”

State MP for Mordialloc Tim Richardson has commented that, “the $3 million investment will provide the wonderful volunteers at Edithvale Life Saving Club with new facilities, while better supporting their efforts to keep our community safe.”

During construction, the club will operate from the nearby Gnotuk Avenue car park, and the Council is hoping to commence demolition later this year to allow the project to be completed ahead of the club’s centenary in 2019.

UPDATE 30/08/17: the project’s status is now in question. The State Government’s Department of Land, Water & Planning have decided to not approve the project following a number of design changes, due to concerns about the impact of rising sea levels

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