The much-anticipated Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club redevelopment is set to move forward, following a $330,000 boost in funding from Alexandrina Council.
This additional funding provides the final piece in the puzzle of the $6 million plus project, now backed by club fundraising efforts ($750,000), the state government ($4.9 million) and Surf Life Saving SA (SLSSA) along with Alexandrina Council.
In December 2019, The Times revealed a $1 million contribution to SLSSA from Alexandrina Council that was earmarked for three surf club redevelopments in the district, had been spent at Chiton Rocks and Goolwa alone, leaving no funds for Port Elliot.
The council has since been lobbied by SLSSA, Port Elliot SLSC and Emergency Services Minister Corey Wingard to provide further funding, and Alexandrina mayor Keith Parkes said council's additional contribution would now benefit the community, local business and the region's economy.
"Alexandrina Council is delighted to be in a position to make this contribution to Surf Life Saving South Australia for the Port Elliot SLSC and is excited to see the project come to fruition," said Mr Parkes.
"Surf life saving clubs are an integral part of Australian beach life. The work of Surf Life Saving South Australia has kept families safe at our beaches for generations, and makes the redevelopment of this club vital to our community.
"The popularity of Horseshoe Bay and the Port Elliot SLSC is evident, and its growing membership is testament to this."
Port Elliot SLSC president Peter Francis welcomed the news and said the club was excited for work to begin on the project that has been in the pipeline for over a decade.
"We are really proud of the fact that as a club, we are putting in over three quarters of a million dollars and that's a testament to the great fundraising, diligent budgeting and responsibility of our members," said Mr Francis
"It's also an indication of the massive support we've had from the wider community and groups including the Lions Club of Port Elliot and Victor Harbor who have been running fundraiser barbecues for over four and a half decades.
"We've also had support from the Rotary Club of Encounter Bay and all in all, our volunteer base has been absolutely fantastic."
Mr Francis also acknowledged Alexandrina Council's support, SLSSA president John Baker and CEO Damien Marangon and their staff for their commitment to the project, as well as the state government who are funding a majority of the build.
"John Kantilaftas from SLSSA especially has shepherded our club through this process and has been outstanding," said Mr Francis.
Mr Francis said the project would create an iconic new structure for Port Elliot.
"The building will be a jewel in the crown of our town and will complement the majesty of Horseshoe Bay, positioned in one of the most beautiful locations in the state," said Mr Francis.
"It will be more than just a surf life saving club and it's likely the site will become a rescue hub for the Encounter Coast and we've planned ahead for this in the scale of the build."
Mr Wingard said the finalisation of funding was a great result for Port Elliot locals and visitors.
"Important redevelopment work can now get underway at the Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club including a complete rebuild of the clubhouse, a new restaurant and bar and warm showers for patrolling members," said Mr Wingard.
"During a pretty tough time it's great to be backing a worthy project that will help boost the local economy and create jobs."
State government representatives including Mr Wingard, as well as SLSAA staff will visit Port Elliot this Friday (May 29) to officially launch the project.