Member for South Barwon, Andrew Katos has made a passionate plea to the Andrews’ Government to immediately provide funding for the reconstruction of the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club.

Mr Katos in his adjournment speech in Parliament on Wednesday evening urgently called upon the Andrews Government to fund the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club.

“The Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club patrols one of Victoria’s most challenging and hazardous surf beaches and their facilities no longer meet their current needs.

In addition, there are growing demands on the Club posed by the significant population growth of Armstrong Creek and Spring Creek developments and significant increase in tourism,” Mr Katos said.

Mr Katos said the Coalition recognised the need to rebuild the clubrooms at the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club and made a commitment at the 2014 election to provide $1 million towards the redevelopment.

“Unfortunately this was not matched by Labor, and the Andrews Government has shown little interest in the Club,” Mr Katos said.

Mr Katos commended the efforts of Wes McDonald, Brad Papworth and Malcolm Leigh-Smith, who have set up a fundraising group to raise approximately $5 million to $5.5 million that is required.

“The Club is confident of raising substantial philanthropic and private sector funding, but they still needs government support to ensure Jan Juc lifesavers have proper facilities to continue to train and educate lifesavers to be equipped to patrol and to provide a safe beach environment for all visitors,” he said.

Mr Katos visited the Club in January with Mr Brad Battin, The Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, to see firsthand the desperate need for this redevelopment.  Sadly this followed the death of a 21-year-old St Albans man who drowned on the beach on 2 January who was swimming within 300 metres of where three lifeguards were patrolling.

Mr Katos said that while all beachgoers are encouraged to swim between the flags, the redevelopment of the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club would allow it to have lifeguards patrolling more of Jan Juc beach, which is critical with the increased patronage of the beach.

“The Andrews Labor government has chosen to put substantial funding into the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club, which is in the Bellarine electorate, with no commitment to Jan Juc, which is a more dangerous beach.

“While I do not begrudge Ocean Grove getting funding, both clubs need support. I urge the Minister to urgently fund the redevelopment of the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club,” Mr Katos said.