The club is currently liaising with all foreshore stakeholders to achieve sign-off for the proposed clubhouse redevelopment plans. Talks are underway with all tiers of government regarding funding for the clubhouse redevelopment and broader VBOSS concept.
The Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club, responsible for the water safety of millions of tourists a year as well as locals, is housed in a building that is no longer fit for purpose.
With more than 5.1 million tourists (pre COVID) now travelling along the Great Ocean Road annually (53.5 percent of whom swim at beaches) and Apollo Bay being the lynch pin town where most stop for lunch, the need for a new facility is urgent.
Since the current club was built in the 1970s for a largely male membership, there has been a tripling of members to more than 650, more than half of whom are female. The current building, which also has no disabled access, is now woefully inadequate and is hindering membership growth and public safety.
Rusted framework, showers/toilets often rendered unusable by sand and cramped storage is crippling the club’s ability to provide vital water safety services and train future generations of lifesavers. There is also so little storage space the club is having to suspend essential water safety equipment from the roof and this is impinging on emergency response times.
In early 2019 the club launched a public awareness campaign to enlist support and raise $7 million for a full redevelopment of the existing clubhouse.
Concept plans were produced and the redevelopment received widespread member and community support. Written endorsements were also received from Life Saving Victoria, Colac Otway Shire Council, Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson, Member for Corangamite Libby Coker, Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney, Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan, Great Ocean Road Health and the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce.
In May 2019 the club received a commitment from the Federal Government to provide $1 million to kick-start the redevelopment process. This funding was received in April 2020, enabling planning works and detailed design work to commence.
The general awareness and communication campaign remains ongoing as do discussions with the Federal and Victorian Governments as well as Life Saving Victoria aimed at securing full funding for the project.
To view all the letters of support and Re-development Documents, click here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HiqBuf3w_f8E1PAWVLJiX6uKZ3kkUN8A
Fostering Leadership & Skills With VBOSS
Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club and the Apollo Bay P12 College, a long time user of the club running annual Bronze and surf safety programs, have teamed up to propose the development of the Victorian Blue Oceans Safety Skills (VBOSS) Centre.
The redeveloped beachside training assets of the club and proposed group accommodation facilities at the Apollo Bay P12 College form the basis of VBOSS that will facilitate the training of regional, state and national school groups in critical water safety and surf awareness skills.
VBOSS is a natural fit with the area’s existing outdoor education credentials and will provide a major economic boost to the club, Apollo Bay and the broader region.