Independent candidate for Warringah Zali Steggall OAM has promised to make the redevelopment of Manly Life Saving Club a priority if elected to federal parliament.
The dilapidated Northern Beaches building – which acts as a clubhouse to almost 1900 members - was built between 1981-82 when club membership was just over 400. The structure no longer fits its purpose and is in decay.
Ms Steggall said pushing for federal funding would be one of her first concerns in Canberra if elected.
“I will do everything necessary to make sure Manly Life Saving Club receives the funding it so desperately needs,” Ms Steggall said.
“The club secured development approval in 2014, as well as funding from its members and the state government. Renovations were unable to go ahead, however, as no federal funding was forthcoming despite the Member for Warringah being Prime Minister at the time.
“It has since decayed so much that it needs to be completely rebuilt, as per a Northern Beaches Council report in October 2018. Bondi, North Bondi and Cronulla all recently benefited from federal funding - and now it’s Manly’s turn.”
Manly Life Saving Club has the highest membership on the Northern Beaches and is the only entity in Australia which takes responsibility for patrolling two sets of red and yellow flags.
The club’s 15 patrols in season 2017-18 consisted of 30 per cent more patrol hours, and nearly twice as many preventative actions than any other club on the Northern Beaches. The total first aid it administered was more than double any other club.
Manly LSC president Chris Bell said the building failed to match community expectations and denigrated its beautiful natural surroundings.
“A major upgrade is needed for the club’s insufficient training and education facilities, inadequate toilet, shower and changing room amenities, as well as its totally insufficient storage area for vital rescue and training equipment,” Mr Bell said.
“Manly LSC believes the current building no longer fits its purpose. When constructed in 1982, membership was just over 400, including only 15 female members. Currently there are 1884 members, with nearly half being female.”