Bondi View

North Bondi SLSC design proves popular

An artist's impression of North Bondi SLSC

The Federal Opposition’s commitment to fund North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club’s (SLSC) $500,000 second stage redevelopment has received glowing praise.

Waverley Mayor Sally Betts stressed the community significance of the North Bondi Club.

“North Bondi is the biggest Surf Life saving Club in Australia, with the biggest membership and almost 1,000 nippers,” she said. “It is therefore extremely important to the lifestyle of our community and its services.

“The role of clubs is greatly valued by the Council because Waverley is the most densely populated area of Australia and our ratio of open space to population is quite low compared to other Council areas.

“However, not only do we have Australia’s most iconic beach, Bondi Beach, we also have Bronte and Tamarama, which is one of Australia’s most dangerous beaches.”

Ms Betts said the design of the new clubhouse is “beautiful”.

“The design of the building is quite inspirational and represents a shell, which is fitting,” she said.

“I think it will become one of the iconic must-see buildings for all visitors in the future and make the wonderful Bondi Beach even more iconic.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the club was important because surf lifesaving in Bondi was vital to the safety of Australians and tourists.

“North Bondi is an iconic surf club and also one of Australia’s busiest,” he said. “This redevelopment is an important initiative that will help the club to train the next generation of lifesavers.”

$500,000 was originally promised to the Club in 2006, but funding for its redevelopment project was scrapped following Labor’s election in 2007.

Member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, praised the work of local fundraising despite the loss of Federal Government support for the project.

“We should acknowledge the tireless work of Surf Club President, Grant McMah, and everyone involved from North Bondi who have pushed ahead with this project regardless,” he said.

“Their persistence in raising funds shows that this project is a great example of the strong community spirit in Bondi.”

The new building, designed by local firm Durbach Block Jaggers, replaces the post-war clubhouse that was subject to periodical modifications.

Lenore Kulakauskas, Convener of the Bondi Beach Precinct Committee, said the development’s design is impressive.

“The design is appropriate because it looks really good from the ground and it’s not too intrusive,” she said.

“We have got to be mindful of development that is so close to the beachfront and could potentially block sun, but I think the new building has succeeded in avoiding that.”

Ms Kulakauskas said surf clubs should receive support simply because of the sense of community they bring.

“My whole family have been in surf clubs for generations,” she said. “I think they are a positive and vital part of coastal communities.”

The first stage of the new clubhouse is due to be completed this month.

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