Water safety on the Fleurieu Peninsula has been bolstered for generations of South Australians to come with the official launch of a new state-of-the-art lifesaving, training, and function hub at Port Elliot – the latest jewel in the crown for Surf Life Saving South Australia (SLSSA).
The Marshall Liberal Government proudly powered the crucial project with a $4.895 million investment to boost regional water safety – and modernise volunteer facilities – with additional funding supplied by Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club ($755,000) and Alexandrina Council ($330,000).
Premier Steven Marshall said the enormous redevelopment is already making waves in the community.
“This is the biggest Surf Life Saving Club re-development in South Australian history and the rebuild provides volunteers with state-of-the art resources that will sustain vital lifesaving services well into the future,” Premier Marshall said.
“Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club’s (PESLSC) new patrol and first aid precinct, training spaces, change rooms and jet-ski storage area is a game-changer for our dedicated volunteers who save hundreds of lives every year.”
Minister for Emergency Services, Vincent Tarzia, thanked dedicated surf lifesaving volunteers for their tireless work in preparation for a bumper patrol season.
“Volunteer lifesavers are an essential part of providing a safe environment for swimmers at the beach, and it was vital our regional volunteers have access to facilities that boost capability and emergency response,” Minister Tarzia said.
“With summer just around the corner, we know South Australians will flock to beaches across the state to enjoy our pristine coastlines and we encourage everyone to do so, but in a safe way.”
Member for Finniss David Basham said the new surf lifesaving club is a state-of-the-art facility.
“The new Port Elliiot Surf Life Saving Club is a tremendous new asset for our local community which will improve water safety and become a social hub for residents as well as visitors,” Minister Basham said.
“This is a project that’s been years in the making and I am proud to be part of a government which is delivering positive outcomes for our Fleurieu Peninsula community.”
Surf Life Saving SA Chief Executive Officer, Damien Marangon, said he hopes South Australians will be proud of their newest hub which honours the efforts of dedicated volunteers in the region.
“The redeveloped PESLSC and precinct at Horseshoe Bay represents an important part of our strategy of protecting South Australians,” Mr Marangon said.
“The rebuild means we can continue efforts to service the community and the broader south coast. We know what the PESLSC means to the local communities, particularly in a place with such high tourism and visitation numbers, and we’re proud to continue our world-class lifesaving services.”
PESLSC President Peter Francis and his team worked tirelessly on the project to ensure the local community was consulted and their feedback reflected in the facility design.
“I often say signing up children to surf lifesaving is an act of love and our new surf club is a gift to the community that will be able to help us safe lives right across the Encounter Coast and beyond,” Mr Francis said.
Mr Francis said the new club allows his members to assist with an anticipated increase in the amount of rescue callouts and has even supported the development of a specialised ‘response group’ that can be called upon urgently when every second counts in an emergency.
“We have already experienced a boost in frontline volunteer lifesavers because of the club and I want to thank our members and patrolling lifesavers for their resilience during this build,” he said.
“They all still provided lifesaving services from two shipping containers to allow time to build this new facility that will leave a legacy for generations of lifesavers.”
The new club is already the most popular site for the Marshall Government’s iconic subsidised summer water safety program VACSWIM, with over 700 children already signed up to make a splash at the site.
South Australian builder Partek Construction and Interiors, and local architect Terry Boxall from Intro Architecture, led the multimillion-dollar build which created 20 trade jobs during construction and boosted the state’s economy.
As the Port Elliot community enters an exciting new stage of its club and town history, South Australians can take part by joining as a volunteer or supporting the club.