Friday, October 29, 2021

Beach plans in disarray

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Andrew Gill, Denmark Bulletin

The future of the Ocean to Channel Recreation Precinct development planned for Ocean Beach is in doubt with the Denmark Shire’s application for $4 million from the Building Better Regions Fund rejected.

Surf Club volunteers
Colin Sainty and Matt Cybula carry a freezer from the patrol building to the main clubhouse. Photo: Serena Kirby

The money was set to match funds already committed by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest, Denmark Surf Lifesaving Club and Shire of Denmark.

The blow comes as the shire and surf club battle to save beach assets in the wake of erosion caused by a series of wild winter storms.

The project included a new fit-for-purpose club building Denmark Surf Life Saving Club and new beach access including timber stairs, first floor access and vehicular access.

General enhancements to amenities including a lookout, memorial benches, seating, terraced walls, grassed terraces and shelters were also planned along with improvements to the Prawn Rock channel area including an ablution block, preservation of Aboriginal heritage site, bird sanctuary, dog access and rehabilitation zone.

“As a result of the unsuccessful application, we now need to reassess our options and put together another plan to progress any future development in the Ocean to Channel precinct,” a shire spokesperson said.

“It will also mean going back to the funding bodies we’ve received funding from to ensure the funding already committed to the project is retained for the project.”

The shire says it will be ‘considering every option in the coming days and weeks’.

“As to what this means for the future of the Surf Club development and the precinct development as a whole, we’ll share updates with our community as soon as we are able.”

Shire of Denmark Chief Executive Officer David Schober said news of the unsuccessful Building Better Regions Fund application was very disappointing.

“We worked very hard to write a compelling application and to champion it through the approval process at every stage,” Mr Schober said.

“Up until this news came through, we had been led to believe our application was at the very top of the pile, so to lose this funding is very disheartening.

“It means we need to go back to the drawing board with our funding partners and community to work out what our next steps will be for this key project for our community. It will take some time, but we will work closely with all of our stakeholders to come up with a new plan to share with our community as soon as we are able.”

Denmark Bulletin 14 October 2021

This article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 14 October 2021.

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