Why surf club’s rent might increase by thousands
FURTHER discussions are likely to take place after Byron Shire Council staff recommended a large spike in one surf club's annual rent.
An amended DA for the redevelopment of Brunswick Heads Surf Life Saving Club remains before the council.
Speaking on behalf of the club, Raymond Linabury told councillors he supported the staff recommendation that their lease for the premises be extended by five years.
But he questioned how the council could justify raising their rent to $3000 a year.
"Staff have not had an opportunity to discuss this recommendation with the Brunswick Heads Surf Club," Mr Linabury said.
He said Byron Bay's club meanwhile paid $496 in annual rent.
"Our members put in 5500 volunteer hours or thereabouts every year patrolling the beach and waterways," Mr Linabury said.
"Increasing our rent by six times does not give us the recognition of the work we do on behalf of the community.
"The people who patrol our beaches are the same people who run the raffles for us."
He said with that time taken into account, their volunteers gave more than 7000 hours to the community each year.
He said at $3000, he believed they would be facing the most expensive rent of any surf club in the state.
"(That) could be far better spent on safety equipment and training," he said.
"I urge you to resolve this in our favour."
The council's general manager Mark Arnold said the planned works would bring "an extension of the footprint" which will see the club partly encroach on a Native Title area.
"As part of staff discussing the lease of the club they're also talking through the lease with the Native Title interests and the increase of lease was part of those Native Title discussions," Mr Arnold said.
He said it was not yet certain whether the rent is to be "met by the club or subsidised by council".
"There will need to be some further discussions both with council and with the surf club," he said.
The matter was discussed in confidential business during today's meeting.