Post Newspaper – August 15, 2020. Pages 3 and 46
From left: Curtin MP Celia Hammond, nipper Hazel Griffiths, 10, mum Gail Fielding and Maia Simmonds in
the Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club’s women’s change room, which needs an urgent upgrade.
Ladies changerooms primitive:
Hundreds of female surf life savers have to share one toilet and four “prison-style” gang showers at the Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club, president Luke Bishop says.
“The women’s changerooms in particular are not fit for purpose,” he said.
“It’s in a 1959 section of the building that was built when there were no female lifesavers in the club.
“There are 330 now.”
He said neither of the club’s changerooms met modern disability access requirements.
The club is angling for $1.13million in state, federal and Lotterywest funding towards $1.7million worth of long-overdue upgrades to its ageing facility.
Federal Curtin MP Celia Hammond and state Cottesloe MP David Honey visited the club on Sunday to launch an online petition in support of the project.
“Forty-seven per cent of the club’s members are women – and it is completely unacceptable that they should have access to only one toilet and outdated and inaccessible changerooms,” Ms Hammond said.
Mr Bishop said the club saw a huge increase in membership and beach patronage since the COVID-19 crisis hit near the end of the summer season.
“The club grew by more than 30% … between 2019 and 2020, putting incredible strain on our already-stretched facilities,” he said.
He said 2517 people swam between the flags this March, significantly up from 1515 in March last year.
Mr Bishop said the club lost out on Lotterywest funding after the agency directed all its grants to virus-related projects, and was competing for another grant from an “oversubscribed” state Community Sporting and Recreational Facilities Fund.
“There are thousands of clubs in the state that are all vying for $12million,” he said.
The club estimates it needs $1million to upgrade its male and female changerooms, $368,000 for new storage facilities and $301,000 for a new gym.
Mr Bishop is hopeful that Nedlands council will match the club’s $273,000 contribution if more funds can be found elsewhere.
“They’re very supportive,” he said.
“Our storage and equipment space hasn’t been upgraded since the late 1970s.
“The club has been saving for this project for almost a decade.”
What YOU can do:
Sign the petition!
https://www.petition.org.au/lifesaving/ – Every signature helps the club.
Get your whole family to sign, share it with your friends, co-workers, neighbours. Anybody with two ears and an internet connection! Lets get this done!