Fairhaven Celebrates Australia Day With Opening Of New Lifesaving Clubhouse

• Victorian Coalition Government officially opens new $4.2 million clubhouse for Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club
• The new clubhouse and facilities enhance safety for the club’s 1,500 members and more than 15,000 people who visit the beach each year
• Coalition Government helping Victorians by building stronger and safer communities

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells today officially opened Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club’s new $4.2 million clubhouse.

Mr Wells was joined by parliamentary colleagues Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay and Member for Hawthorn Ted Baillieu at the club’s official opening which coincided with the Club Championships.

Mr Wells said lifesaving was a vital community service and the new clubhouse would help protect swimmers and visitors at Fairhaven Beach.

The new clubhouse replaces the former 56-year-old building that was built when the club had fewer than 100 members. Over the past 50 years, the club’s membership has swelled to more than 1,500, including more than 500 nippers.

“Fairhaven Beach is extremely popular so it’s fantastic that this modern clubhouse has opened in time for summer,” Mr Wells said.

“This new facility will increase the safety and comfort of lifesavers conducting patrols and rescues and increase the club’s ability to attract and retain potential members.”

Construction of the new clubhouse was completed in December 2013 in time for its first nippers session of the summer and the busy Christmas holiday period.

The clubhouse provides improved facilities, including a new standalone patrol tower, as well as additional space and storage for the life saving club and its equipment. The clubhouse will also be used by a range of community groups, including the local football club and fire brigade.

Mr Wells said the Victorian Coalition Government provided $1.8 million funding for the clubhouse redevelopment with the Surf Coast Shire contributing $240,000 and the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club contributing significantly to the project.

“I’d like to acknowledge and congratulate the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club in raising $2 million towards the project through community donations, club members and club reserves,” Mr Wells said.

“This is a fantastic effort and reveals the strong community spirit in Fairhaven. The new clubhouse will be an asset for everyone to share and enjoy.”

Over the 2012-13 season, the Fairhaven club recorded more than 15,000 visitors to its beach, performed 10 rescues, conducted more than 530 preventative actions and provided first aid assistance on 10 occasions.

“I congratulate Fairhaven’s lifesavers on their commitment and dedication to conducting rescues and teaching other people the skills to enjoy the water safely,” Mr Wells said.

Mr Wells said the Coalition Government recognised the important role of lifesavers and recently announced $50,000 in funding to equip every club in Victoria with new life jackets.

“This new clubhouse will support beach-goers by providing vital beach patrols, including emergency rescue services and first aid,” Mr Wells said.

“This project is a great example of the community working with state and local governments to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will support not only the local lifesaving club, but the Fairhaven community well into the future.”