State cash helps build Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club rescue capabilities

JUST months before thousands of people hit the beach for summer, the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club (WSLSC) has been given cash for a new four-wheel-drive to reach critical incidents along the coast. 

Local MP Denis Napthine has spent the last two days in his electorate giving money to the region’s emergency services. 

Yesterday he announced money for a flurry of small projects, with Warrnambool the biggest winner.  It claimed $66,470 towards a $100,000 target for a new rescue vehicle and building works at the surf club.

WSLSC president Michael Owen said the club’s reach was limited to a small rescue buggy, despite Warrnambool directly covering from Stingray Bay to Logans Beach, as well as being responsible for the coastline from the city to Port Campbell. 

“We’re well spread out. We’re covering a huge area and it’s one of the reasons why we’re seeking a vehicle,” Mr Owen said. 

“It’ll be like an emergency rescue vehicle. We’ll have it fitted out.”

Cash will also be used to renovate the club’s interior,  in the hope it will attract more functions in a bid to boost membership. 

“We’re a little bit remote from the township itself so the best thing to do is to upgrade your club,” club treasurer Kevin Ryan said. 

“Because we want to grow the number of nippers it gives them (parents) an opportunity to be able to introduce their children to becoming a nipper.”

Dr Napthine praised the work of the club. 

“We give $2 for every dollar raised by the club for the expansion of the facilities,” Dr Napthine said. 

The new four-wheel-drive rescue vehicle is expected to arrive in time for summer. 

“If there’s an emergency situation that needs assistance… that’s what this vehicle will be used for,” Dr Napthine said.

The state government announced $224,000 for south-west coast emergency groups, including $22,000 for the Port Fairy SES and another $10,000 for the Portland Surf Life Saving Club. 

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