Surf club happy despite scuffle
NSW PREMIERE Gladys Berejiklian was in Brunswick Heads on Wednesday afternoon to announce the NSW government will invest $3.8million in the redevelopment of Brunswick Heads Surf Club.
The announcement was almost overshadowed by a scuffle between the Premiere's security team and a local reporter who was incensed the Premiere appeared not to be taking any questions from the media.
A group of around 15 protesters from the North East Forest Alliance and Anti-Adani activists were also there to greet the Premiere, Deputy Premiere John Barilaro and Nationals candidate for Ballina Ben Franklin.
Whilst there the premiere also announced the state government would give $23million to expand the capacity at Lifeline and Kids Helpline.
Nationals Candidate for Ballina Ben Franklin said the money committed to the clubhouse would be, "a huge boost for Brunswick Heads."
"Everyone knows that the NSW North Coast has some of the best beaches in the world and thanks to the investments from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, we are ensuring they are also among the safest."
Ray Linabury Chairman of the Brunswick Heads Surf Lifesaving Club Re-building Committee said the governments commitment was a boon for the Club.
He also confirmed the iconic Brunswick Heads look out tower would remain, standing sentinel over the Beach.
"The building we occupy now is 50 years old and was built for how surf clubs worked back then," Mr Linabury said.
"Fifty years ago surf rescue equipment consisted of a reel and a belt, surf boards, surf skis and row boats and the skill of the swimmer," Mr Linabury said.
"Now we have jets skis, four wheel drive vehicles and quad bikes because we don't patrol just that small section of beach in front of the club, we go up to three quarters of the way towards Byron Bay plus around to Torakina, and Brunswick Heads and further North as well.
Currently the clubs extra equipment is housed in three large shipping containers that sit beside the existing building which club members say can be difficult to access quickly.
Mr Linabury said like most other surf clubs Brunswick Heads relies on the generosity of the local community and the work of volunteers to stay afloat.
The club runs numerous events including the Mullun2Bruns Paddle and the Byron2Bruns Beach Run.
"We have around 450 club members with around 75 patrol members which means our patrols are working 4 or 5 times a season whereas some of the larger clubs are working once or twice a seson.
Plans for the new clubhouse are currently in the final stages of approval with Byron Shire Council.
Subject to that consent, work should begin on the project later this year.