13 November 2020

Major upgrade for Broulee's little club that could

| Kim Treasure
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Rescue helicopter in foreground, bushfires in background near Broulee.

Bushfires near Broulee on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Photo: Supplied.

Surf clubs have been an important part of Australian culture for more than 100 years, keeping watch over swimmers since the first one was founded in Bondi in February 1907.

But on New Year’s Eve 2019 they took on a new significance, providing shelter for more than 7000 people fleeing the worst bushfires in living memory.

On that day around 500 scared and vulnerable people headed to Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club, which itself was under threat and struggling to cope with the influx.

Despite the challenges, surf lifesavers managed to keep the crowd calm and safe in conditions that could only be described as hell.

READ ALSO Pictures from the bushfires north of Moruya, worried locals, forgotten houses

Now the little club that could is about to get a major upgrade, thanks to funding from the NSW and Federal governments.

The Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club is expanding with a larger function room, third-storey patrol observation tower, a new first-aid room, and new disabled female and male change rooms and showers.

Construction is set to get underway very soon, with the club currently closed to the public.

Fence surrounding Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club.

Work is about to get underway on an upgrade of Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club. Photo: Supplied.

Club secretary Andrew Edmunds said the redevelopment is an exciting time for the club.

“We are looking forward to the project being completed in early 2021,” he said.

“For the first time in our 40-year history, we will have dedicated separate change facilities for disabled male and female members.

“We will have a larger first-aid room to treat patients, and increased visibility of the beach will assist us in keeping the public safe.”

READ ALSO 40 years on, women still making waves in surf lifesaving

Mr Edmunds said the improved facilities would benefit the community should the club ever be needed as a refuge again in the future.

As part of the redevelopment, the club will also be providing space for a cafe/kiosk operator.

“We’ve had some great people in the past run a kiosk for the enjoyment of our members and the public, and we’re looking forward to our new facility opening soon,” said Mr Edmunds.

“We will be offering a long-term sublease of up to 10 years, which is a pretty exciting business opportunity.

“We hope the successful operator will also be able to provide services to private and club functions such as presentations, weddings, training days and so on.”

The tender for the cafe/kiosk and functions opens on Monday, 16 November, with information packs available for download.

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