Aspendale lifeguards look to a new future

Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
April 25, 2018

The cult classic film Back to the Future was released in 1985, in the same year that Aspendale Life Saving Club was built. Now years later, community clamour has grown for the club’s growth to be addressed by a full redevelopment.

Aspendale Life Saving Club’s membership continues to soar by 20 per cent each year, with 250 keen nippers helping to make up the club’s total of 465 members. President Chad Henry puts this down to the club’s family values that have forged strong community ties. These are strengthened by programs including Starfish, which is inclusive of young people with disabilities.

However, the club has flagged concerns about their deteriorating facility and its ability to meet their functions. “The facilities are currently in a state of dire straits and we have structural issues that are really starting to impact on the club. Our storage facilities are well and truly at their wits end,” says Mr Henry.

Mr Henry’s vision is for a purpose-built facility that will improve visibility of beachgoers during operations and assist with meeting the club’s growing membership. “I’d like it to be accessible by all members of the community and the site’s footprint size increased to meet our membership’s growth,” he says.

“Life Saving Victoria (LSV) has conducted a condition audit to assess the lifesaving facilities at Aspendale Life Saving Club and has identified that they are no longer fit for purpose,” says Andrew Foran, LSV’s GM of Lifesaving Club Development.

Conversely in a statement, the Council’s Community Sustainability General Manager Mauro Bolin revealed that they were working closely with LSV on assessments, however in contrast he described Aspendale Life Saving Club as being “structurally sound.”

“Kingston Council has funding set aside in its long-term budget forecasts to support projects that successfully receive Victorian Government funding,” said Mr Bolin.

At the time of print LSV were seeking funding from the State Government for the redevelopment, and looking forward to partnering with the City of Kingston should their bid be successful.

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