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Support rallies for lifesaving club

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Support rallies for lifesaving club

Members are hopeful of extending patrol hours to ensure better public surf safety on popular northern beach. WORDS: Steele Taylor.

There is optimism that a re-formed lifesaving club can provide more patrols at a “notorious” surf beach in a growing area.

Officials at the Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club are hopeful the organisation will continue to attract more members, paving the way for extended patrol hours at the picturesque, but sometimes-dangerous surf break.

The club was revived in 2022 after spending eight years in the doldrums, due to financial difficulties.

Steady progress has since been made and there are now 55 active, 92 associate, 14 long-service and 42 supporter club members and 152 nippers.

But the club can only patrol on Sundays, from September until May.

President John Roderick hopes lifesavers can be on duty more often, especially because of the growing number of beachgoers.

“Long term, we would love to have enough members to extend our patrolling hours,” he says.

“Peregian Beach and surrounding areas have significantly increased in the last five years.

“A large influx is young families.

“Peregian Beach can be a notorious beach with changing rips and dangerous surf conditions.

“Therefore, having a lifesaving presence is an essential community service.”

The beach, unprotected by headlands, stretches for kilometres and is prone to strong sweeps, rips and rough surf.

The club was initially formed by local lifesavers in 1962 but was disbanded in 1974 after a cyclone destroyed the small clubhouse there.

Community support led to the club’s second coming in 1984 and a new clubhouse in 1988.

But it was placed into administration in 2014 after it struggled to pay its debts and faced stiff competition from other clubs.

Noosa Heads Surf Club stepped in to ensure there were some patrols at the beach, while significant efforts were made by a dedicated working group to re-establish the club in 2022.

Mr Roderick is confident the club can continue to build momentum.

“We want to drive membership to ensure we are sustainable,” he says.

“Our first priority is always to provide a patrolling lifesaving service to keep our beach and community safe.”

Progress has been made on making the club’s headquarters more practical and appealing for members.

“To date we have tidied up the club and repainted where necessary.

“We have gratefully acquired some new furniture through funding provided largely from Bendigo Bank grants.

“We are also just about to renovate the kitchen area, largely due to grants and funding via the Peregian Markets.

“We want to update the clubhouse to provide better facilities for our members and ensure we can continue providing lifesaving services at Peregian Beach.”

BOOST FOR SAFER ROADS

Safety improvements have been confirmed for a busy road that see more than 15,000 vehicles per day.

The $20 million works will take place along a section of Eumundi-Noosa Road between Lenehans Lane, Doonan, and Beckmans Road, Noosaville, to create more-efficient and safer journeys for the growing community in this area.

Works will include installing wide, centre-line treatment, road widening and resurfacing, removing roadside hazards and providing sealed shoulders, plus safer road markings and provisions for bike riders.

Transport and Main Roads (TMR) regional director, North Coast Region, Scott Whitaker says road safety is a top priority.

“This section of Eumundi-Noosa Road has a significant crash history, despite the relatively low traffic volume, and the project will improve overall safety for all road users. Eumundi-Noosa Road is part of the department’s Principal Cycle Network and the safety improvements will encourage safer, more-frequent bike riding along this scenic route,” he says.

Motorists also will have an extra set of traffic lights to contend with, along Bradman Avenue, later this year. The new lights will be part of $7 million of improvements by TMR at two intersections on the busy thoroughfare.

The lights will be installed at the Diura Street intersection, where the left slip lane will be modified and a pedestrian crossing added. The signals and pedestrian crossings at the Denna Street intersection are to be improved, and a bike lane will be created between Kuran and Denna streets.

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