Long Reef Surf Club’s long-awaited new facilities are finally under way with officials turning the first sod to mark the start of the $7.5 million construction process.
The purpose-built clubhouse on Sydney’s Northen Beaches will start to take shape and eventually feature a council lifeguard and board rider group and community storage facilities, as well as a café and a public amenities block.
Turning the first sod on the new site last week, Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the new facility, expected to be complete in early 2022, will deliver a state-of-the-art community asset.
“Today’s ceremony is an important milestone as work commences to create a new home for Long Reef Surf Lifesaving Club,” Mr Regan said.
“It is through the determination of so many people, including members of this club, Northern Beaches Council and our local State and Federal MPs that we are standing here now to celebrate the start of construction of this amazing new facility, which will serve the club and the wider community for years to come.
“The new clubhouse will not only more adequately meet the needs of the Surf Club and Northern Beaches Council’s Lifeguards in their lifesaving duties, it will provide family-friendly facilities that both residents and visitors can enjoy.
“This project is a great example of what can be achieved when communities, our local clubs, and all levels of government work together.”
Long Reef Surf Club President and life member, Peter Kinsey, said he was a Long Reef SLSC Volunteer lifesaver for 59 years and had seen a large portion of the evolution of the Club, which enjoyed its 70th anniversary last year.
“We have a very strong and committed membership of around 1000 individuals ranging from under six-year-old Nippers to members in their 80s,” Mr Kinsey said.
“This redevelopment has been a very long road to navigate, but I am 100 per cent confident that all the effort has been worthwhile and Long Reef SLSC will prosper and we will continue as a volunteer community service organisation for many generations to come.
Federal Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski said it was a great moment for the Long Reef SLSC, Peter Kinsey and his team.
“This building will help the club support the community and continue to help save lives on Long Reef beach,” he said.
Local MP, the Member for Wakehurst, Brad Hazzard, said construction of the surf club will be hugely beneficial for the Northern Beaches community.
“I am sure locals share my anticipation of Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club’s fantastic new facility,” Mr Hazzard said.
“I congratulate Peter Kinsey and his team of dedicated volunteers who have done an amazing job, bringing this exciting community project to fruition. I was pleased to be able to assist by securing a $3 million contribution from the NSW Government.
“Construction of this new facility will ensure Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club has the facilities necessary to keep beachgoers safe for decades to come”.
NSW Sports Minister Geoff Lee said the upgrades will provide accessible facilities for the public.
“With beach culture being such a significant part of the coastal lifestyle, this new facility will improve the beach experience for families and people with disability,” he said. “Today’s sod turn is an exciting milestone for the project and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product.”