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RE-ESTABLISHING THE PEREGIAN BEACH SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB - Media Release from SLSSC

Dear Peregian Community member,

Over the past year or more, there has been much speculation about the future of surf lifesaving at Peregian Beach.

As you are aware, earlier this year Noosa Council conducted an EOI process in respect of the First Floor of the Peregian Beach Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse with the result being that Surf Lifesaving Sunshine Coast (SLSSC) was awarded a 3-year Permit for the entire Surf Club facility.  This permit has recently been formally signed by both parties.



SLSSC’s proposal was based on a detailed Strategic Plan to re-establish an independent, volunteer surf lifesaving Club drawn from the local community over a 3 year transition period.

Some facts about the new agreement: 

· The permit includes a clause for the parties to negotiate a long term lease along the lines of a traditional Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) model, with the added exclusion of poker machines/gambling. 

· The model sees SLSSC establishing an independent, community-drawn SLSC at Peregian over the course of the permit.  This is not a simple or short process and will require the support and goodwill of the entire Peregian community.  Therefore, part of the process over the coming 3 years is for SLSSC to play our part in healing some of the rifts in the community. 

· The permit acknowledges that over the course of the permit there will be no “commercial” activity on the Top Floor. 

·         SLSSC has agreed to provide community access to the Top Floor provided it does not compromise surf lifesaving activities.  To this end, we have initiated discussions with community groups, such as OLSA, as to the potential short and long term uses they may have.  Clearly, these concepts ultimately must be able to generate an income stream to support surf lifesaving services over the long term and we are also willing to talk to other community groups who may have an interest or proposal.

· The plan also calls for an active community consultation process via an Advisory Board which we will move to establish over coming months.

· The interim Club will be governed by SLSSC and part of the annual objectives are structured around achieving targets for locally-based governance.

· SLSSC is a small advocacy body for its member Clubs and, in its own right, is not capable of administering a Club.  Therefore, there will be a separate agreement with the Noosa Heads Club (NHSLSC) to provide ongoing administrative and financial support over the plan period. 

· SLSSC, NHSLSC and the local Peregian membership are currently busy making preparations for the new surf lifesaving season with a particular focus on building on the success of last years Nippers program and on building up our Patrol numbers such that we can add at least one more Peregian-based patrol this season.

Due to the media attention and some misinformation over the recent past, we believe there is significant confusion in the local community over surf lifesaving at Peregian Beach.  As stated above, there will be only one Peregian Beach SLSC and it will be governed by SLSSC over the coming 3 years as it is progressively re-established.  The Noosa Club has very generously agreed to provide vital support services to assist in this transition.  Noosa Council will also work constructively with SLSSC to ensure the existing facility is fit for purpose over the transition period.  There are two websites/facebook pages which legitimately represent Surf Lifesaving at Peregian Beach:  https://www.facebook.com/PeregianSLSC; and https://www.facebook.com/peregiannippers/.

Surf Lifesaving Sunshine Coast recognises the unfortunate process that has driven community unrest over the future of surf lifesaving at Peregian Beach.  Now that the future direction is clear, we acknowledge that we have an important role to play in seeking to heal some of the community division.  We call on the broader Peregian community to support us in re-establishing and re-energising your local Surf Lifesaving Club over the next 3 years and to unite behind this goal for the good of your community.

-- Regards Gerard O'Brien President Surf Lifesaving Sunshine Coast




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