Surf club wins grant to improve disability access

Emily AceSouth Western Times

The City of Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club received a Lotterywest grant of nearly $200,000 last week from Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis.

The grant will bolster funding from the South West Development Commission through the Royalties for Regions initiative and the club’s own fundraising efforts to make the facility more accessible to people with a disability.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis speaks at Bunury Surf Life saving club.
Camera IconEmergency Services Minister Joe Francis speaks at Bunury Surf Life saving club. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Club president Denise Duncan said the grant was the last piece of the puzzle, 10 years after original plans for redevelopment were made.

“It’s a massive sum of money and it’s a great help,” Mrs Duncan said.

“It’s what has driven this dream forward and without it we would probably not be able to do what we are doing now.

“It is really important because the more our community grows in its diverse nature which is the beauty of Bunbury, the more it will allow us to bring those people into the beautiful Back Beach and keep them safe.”

Mrs Duncan said the redevelopment would also include upgrades to the kitchen and social areas to thank members for their contribution.

Mr Francis commended the 101-year-old club on its plan to become disability friendly.

“Just because you have a disability shouldn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to the beach and great community facilities like the surf life saving clubs,” he said.

“To make it inclusive of everyone in the community I think is one of the greatest things a club can do.”

The plans fit in with the City of Bunbury’s aim to become the most accessible regional city in Australia by 2020.

The rebuild will take place over winter, with the club set to be ready for next summer.

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