LIFETIME OF LIFESAVERS: Beach goers with members of the Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 1965.
LIFETIME OF LIFESAVERS: Beach goers with members of the Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 1965. Picture Sunshine Coast

A battle of the lifesavers

LIFESAVING: Among plans and efforts to build a new club for the Peregian Beach surf lifesavers, one group of people have said that poker machines are no way to run a lifesaving hub.

Members of the newly formed Peregian Beach Surf Club believed that the current clubhouse is more than capable and that exploitation of gambling is no way to fund their services.

"While you're out there saving lives, you're sitting there preying on lives,” club president Rob Neely said.

The veteran lifesaver was a member of the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club until March 2017.

The Noosa club is currently assisting in patrolling Peregian Beach, and hosts many Peregian residents for nippers.

The Peregian Beach Surf Club and the recently established Peregian Family and Friends both believe that surf lifesaving should remain close to home and return to Peregian, but their beliefs differ in the way this should be done.

Mr Neely believed based off a number of models it was financially plausible to run the club in the existing building without the construction of a "superclub” like in nearby Coolum and Noosa.

"We've taken a view of transparency and posted our budget online for anyone to read,” he said.

"We want to get the club running under our colours.

"We want our kids to be on Peregian.”

However, Leigh McCready of the Peregian Family and Friends organisation believed a supporter's club is an important aspect of a surf club.

"When Peregian Beach lost its surf lifesaving supporters club, when it went broke and had to close its doors, the community suffered a great loss,” she said.

"We think that restoring a supporters club would provide a welcome boost to the culture and sense of community at Peregian.”

President of the Noosa Heads Surf Lifesaving Club Ross Fisher said the decision lays in the hands of the community.

"As a community you have to decide what's best for the future.”

Whatever the people of Peregian choose, Noosa Heads Surf Lifesaving Club is committed to keeping a watchful eye over the beach.

"We intend to carry on business as usual, and we're not walking away,” Mr Fisher said.


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