The West

The future of the City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club is in doubt after talks with the local council over new clubrooms broke down last week.

The 90-year-old club, which is based at City Beach, has been working with the Town of Cambridge for more than three years to design and develop new clubrooms after its clubhouse was deemed to be in a state of disrepair.

In July, the council agreed to commit $4.5 million to a new 1610sqm facility. Club president Grant Trew said the council then agreed to expand the building a further 180sqm - to be funded from donations. The club raised $1.45 million for the project but has since been told this money may have to go towards other costs such as demolition and construction blowouts.

"We raised the money so we could have a bigger, better facility but after we got the money all these surprise costs cropped up," Mr Trew said. "We're now being told we may have to pay for these new costs and could be liable for any future budget blowout.

"We're a volunteer organisation that relies on community donations and we're essentially being asked to write a blank cheque. We can't do that."

The council's community and resources committee voted last week to recommend that council retain the clubrooms at the original size and put the money raised by the club into construction, fees and contingencies.

The council is expected to vote on the resolution tonight. Mr Trew said he was afraid if they did not agree to the new conditions, the current facility would be given to another sporting or community club. "The club cannot exist without a beach location," he said.

The club has 1400 members. About 200 are volunteer lifesavers responsible for patrolling beaches between Floreat and Swanbourne.

Mr Trew wants the council to defer its decision and resume talks.

The West Australian

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