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Letters Sent as well as articles (and replies if any) on behalf of THBOA members in regards to beach patrol 2010/2011

(Listed chronologically from most recent to oldest)

Media Release
Far South Coast Surf Life Saving welcomes the news local businesses have come to the rescue of the Eurobodalla Shire Council over the provision of lifeguard services this summer.

The council earlier this year axed lifeguards from its budget following an unsuccessful rate variation application. Eurobodalla Council announced today patrols for Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Tuross Head and Narooma. Unfortunately there will be no provision of lifeguards at Dalmeny Beach adjacent to the council owned camping ground and accommodation.

Far South Coast Assistant Director Andrew Edmunds said if volunteer surf life saving clubs and the business community had not shown the leadership they had today’s outcome wouldn’t have been possible. “The local businesses that have dug deep to get council out of trouble on this issue really do deserve praise,” he said. “Our volunteers at Batemans Bay, Broulee, Narooma and Moruya Surf Life Saving Clubs also need special recognition for taking on
a dditional patrol hours to help reduce the financial burden on council.”


The professional lifeguard service has come at a price for the volunteer clubs however. “The money that has been so generously donated to the Eurobodalla Shire Council is funds that would have otherwise gone into local charities
such as rescue groups, sporting clubs and surf life saving organisations.” Mr Edmunds said volunteers across the region were relieved the matter had finally been resolved.

“Everyone is pleased the members of the community will be able to enjoy the beaches this summer and know they have a safe place to swim in between the flags.

Mr Edmunds said it had been a long couple of months for the organisation, but added they wouldn’t be taking the pressure off council. “They may have managed to scrape enough funds to cover this season, but we’ll pressing hard
to make sure we never find ourselves in this situation again. “We will be looking forward to brainstorming with council and other stakeholders to look at some long term funding arrangements, and Saturday patrolling arrangements for our volunteers.”

“The current solution is not a sustainable option, we risk losing funding and over-burdening our volunteers. We decided as a group to work even harder as volunteers for our community to ensure people’s safety. It is disappointing Dalmeny Beach has been left out by Council, as it is a popular beach that will
have absolutely no coverage. Our advice, as it has always been is to swim only at patrolled beaches in between the flags.”

October 18th - letter from the Mayor to THBOA

 

Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 5:28 PM
Eurobodalla Shire Council Media release:

Lifeguards to patrol six Eurobodalla beaches this summer

The Mayor, Fergus Thomson, has today announced that Eurobodalla Shire Council will guarantee professional lifeguards on six of the Eurobodalla’s beaches this summer.

“Thanks to generous sponsorship by local businesses and the community, Council is able to guarantee that Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Tuross Head and Narooma will be patrolled for six weeks during the summer holiday period,” he said.

Clr Thomson said unfortunately Dalmeny Beach will not be patrolled as Council was unsuccessful in its bid for funds from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

He would like to warmly thank the following sponsors for working with Council and the community to fund the lifeguard service. “Their contributions have ensured professional patrols as well as volunteer patrols will be on our beaches during the peak swimming and tourism period.”

Professional lifeguard sponsors:

Club Catalina

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club

Village Centre, Batemans Bay

Batemans Bay Mini Golf

Tomakin Sports and Social Club

Narooma Surfbeach Holiday Park

Narooma Plaza

Dial Before You Dig

Country Energy

The professional lifeguards will patrol the beaches from Monday to Friday and are expected to start around 20 December 2010 and finish on Australia Day, 26 January 2011. Some beaches will be patrolled by lifeguards 7 days per week.

Volunteer lifesavers will continue to patrol the beaches at Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya and Narooma on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during summer.

ENDS

 

13-10-2010 Slap in face turns to a kick in the head

Eurobodalla Shire Council's announcement today of a pay increase ef $14,000 per year to its general manager is poorly timed for Tuross businesses and residents concerned that time is now running out to secure funding for its annual six week summer beach patrol.

The THBOA was told to await the outcome of the Special Rate variation meeting as adjustments in the final budget might see Council cover the $24,000 required for the beach patrol should no sponsors be forthcoming.

At well past the eleventh hour Council chooses to now publically declare a wage increase whilst keeping the residents on a knife edge regarding critical funding.

Christmas bookings for accomodation are on hold, orders of christmas stocks are pressing and the town as a whole has been left in the lurch once again with only speculation and chinese whispers.

A 915 signature petition was delivered to Council last Friday and no comment at all has been forthcoming.

Public relations between Council and its Shirewide community have plummeted.

Whilst it is accepted that employees are entitled to incremental award rises and bonuses it is the poor and inconsiderate timing of the announcement that has cut deep.

Tuross still waits on a knife edge not knowing if it will be a wonderful summer or one that might see far less visitors due to the prospect of no Beach patrol. And sadly, should there be a resultant loss of life due to Council's withdrawal of funding with no provision of backup sponsorship in place then the poor timing of the wage increase will rest all the heavier.

It is STRONGLY advised that Council publically announce funding for the Tuross Beach patrol IMMEDIATELY as this community and its businesses are now well and truely pi##ed off (which, from soundbites around the village is putting it very mildly)

It is also STRONGLY advised that Council publically announces the funding of Tuross Beach patrol to the media far and wide to counter the undue negative coverage that it has now dealt out to this community through it's lack of any concern in regards to it's actions and the consequences to the livelihood of its residents, its businesses and their families

It can only be considered now that Council has done this community a grave diservice in its decision to withdraw funding in the manner it chose and now shows a blatant disregard in offering any apology or dialogue to the Tuross Community for its actions, past and present.

The media are chomping at the bit for feedback from the Tuross Community - at present this email is circulated to THBOA members and to Councillors however things do get passed on .....

Hopefully we can report good news in the next 48 hours


 

7th October - Nick Walton, co-owner of the Tuross Motel and member of the Tuross Head Business Owners Association hands to Michael Johnson, president
of the Tuross Head Progress Association a petition signed by 915 visitors and residents demanding Council ensures provision
of the beach patrol at Tuross for the summer of 2010/11 .

The THBOA has now sought the support of the Tuross Head Progress Association to seek an assurance from Council that a beach patrol will be in place
for the six weeks of the crucial visitor holiday period.. The petition and covering THPA letter will be delivered to Council Friday 8th Oct.

Above; Narooma News article October 6th, 2010

 

Negotiations underway for Tuross beach patrols

ABC South East Radio - Posted September 30, 2010 10:45:00

The Mayor of the Eurobodalla Shire on the Far South Coast of New South Wales, Fergus Thomson, says the Council is working hard to provide beach patrols at Tuross Head.

Business owners have expressed concern about claims that the town's beach is dangerous, saying the local economy could suffer if people stay away.

The Tuross Head Business Owners Association has called on Cr Thomson to address the concerns.

He says the Council is attempting to provide a service for this year's peak season.

"I have never walked away from that commitment, and it's a commitment I gave to the people of Tuross," he said.

"We will do everything we possibly can to make sure that nobody's life is put at risk."

Cr Thomson says the situation is looking promising, but he says recent claims are misleading.

"There have never been lifeguards on Tuross Beach leading up to the summer period," he said.

"There are no surf lifesaving clubs at Tuross, and therefore, people swim on unpatrolled beaches before that period and also in the period after January.

"What we are attempting to do is put lifeguards on for that six week period."

 



 

Sep 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM
subject Breaking news - Summer Beach Patrol at Tuross Head - Mayor's announcement

In an email just received, addressed to the members of Tuross Head Business Owners Association, Mayor Thomson asked if the following could be conveyed..

"I believe that we are on track in being able to provide life guards to patrol the Tuross Head beach this summer".

This comes as a positive step forward in a week that has seen Tuross Head in the press for all the wrong reasons.

The Mayor's email is appreciated and in the coming weeks it is hoped that confirmation of sponsorships will further quell the fears that residents and visitors have shared of there being no summer holiday period beach patrol at Tuross Beach.

Please pass on this latest news to your local clients, to those who enquire about holiday bookings and to your families so that a good news message might neutralise the many mixed messages that are being circulated in the various media of newspapers, radio and TV .

I will keep you informed of any updates when they become available.

In the meantime Council has begun its quest for summer lifeguards and further sponsorship discussions are well underway.

regards
lei parker
acting secretary
THBOA

 

Businesses rescue south coast life guard service

29/09/2010 | 02:51 PM

(ABC)

Businesses on the New South Wales south coast are coming to the rescue of Christmas holiday-makers by funding professional life guards for popular beaches.

Earlier this year Eurobodalla Shire Council said funding shortfalls meant a likely reduction in paid life guard services.

They were considering reducing services to limited beach patrols by volunteer surf lifesaver patrols.

But Council general manager Paul Anderson says private sector support means professional life guards are now being recruited for the Christmas school holidays.

"The local businesses have shown some exceptional leadership and have said 'look, tourism is one of our key industries'," he said.

"They were concerned the impact it was going to have on tourism numbers in and around our local government area and they've said, 'look there's a business case for us to help drive economic benefit back to our own businesses'."

Mr Anderson says it is the first time local businesses have stepped in.

"Out of the seven beaches at the moment we've funded [patrols] for four of them," he said.

"We're still working on the last three although we're quietly confident that there's some additional businesses out there that will actually assist us in funding the last three beaches."

 

Dear THBOA members,

To keep you up to date with the news on the THBOAs push for assurance from Council that there WILL BE a beach patrol in Tuross this year i attach
a link to an article from today's Bay Post

and a link to this mornings ABC South East news report.

Councils General manager, Paul Anderson, was later interviewed on ABC South East by Tim Holt and basically reiterated the content of Councils September 28th Press release
http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/publications/mediareleases/2010/september/recruiting-begins-for-eurobodalla-lifeguards

At no point did Paul Anderson offer any assurance that Council would foind the $24,000 required if a sponsor coud not be found.

As such, there is still no guarantee of a Beach Patrol and this may soon become reflected in summer bookings for the village.

A petition that has been in circulation around Tuross will be gathered in in the next week to present to Council.

If you have concerns of your own at the possible impact to your business by Council's descision not to fund a patrol and not to organise a backup option prior to withdrawing those funds leaving Tuross to fend for itself and face financial loss through the widespread negative publicity of Councils actions then email council direct at

council@eurocoast.nsw,gov.au

In the meantime the THBOA will continue to continue in trying to secure a patrol for summer.

Sadly there has been no comment or sign of any support to our concerns from any of the Councillors or the Mayor. No doubt they are now aware of the wider impact of their descision to withdraw funding for 2010/2011 and are now aware that the sponsorships brokered in this year will be up for re-negotiation each year.

Of major concern is the loss of tourism dollars to the Shire this summer by the withdrawal of $150,000 - sadly only the demise of their descision will can be truely measured at the end of the tourist season when it is all too late.

The financial risk that Council, and Councillors, has now imposed on local business will be remembered at the next election and the silence of the Councillors on this subject is well noted.

Whilst the community appreciates that Council is doing its utmost to secure a sponsor it is widely considered that the situation was mismanaged from the start and has resulted in a marketing catastrophe that needn't have happened and has sadly soiled the excellent image Tourism Eurobodalla has been building.

regards
lei parker
acting secretary THBOA

 


Bay Post September 29

Click on the image above to read the article or click here

 

ABC South East Radio Posted September 29, 2010 09:47:00

Tuross calls for lifeguards to patrol 'deadly beach'

Business owners at Tuross Head on the New South Wales far south coast are calling on the Eurobodalla Shire Council to guarantee a lifeguard service over summer.

A surf lifesaving spokesman has described the town's beach as one of the deadliest spots on the coast, and less competent swimmers have been told to swim at Narooma or Moruya.

The Tuross Head Business Owners Association has been reactivated in response to the concerns, and says the area's economy will suffer if the beach is not patrolled.

The Association's Spokesman, Lei Parker, says business operators will lose out.

"If there's any loss of financial opportunity in losing any custom during the summer period, then that really does have a major impact on the livelihood of our businesses and the competitiveness of those businesses as well," he said.

"One of the absolute realities of Council's decision here is that it seriously will compromise the loss of potential livelihoods."

More concern as lake opens

The Tuross Rescue Squad says there is particular concern for safety this year, with the opening of Tuross Lake.

The group's President, David Campbell, says conditions can change quickly, and people will be fishing in areas they have not been for some time.

He says the Council's priorities should change.

"I realise that Council might be strapped for money, but I really think that it'd be better off taking $150,000 off the road works than playing around with people's lives and trying to get sponsorship for the beaches."

The Council says negotiations are underway to provide lifeguards at Tuross Head, and stakeholders will fund professional patrols at Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Broulee and Narooma.

 

An email sent to the Eurobodalla Shire Mayor and Councillors
BCC THBOA members - September 28, 2010

Mayor Fergus,

Good morning.

As you might be aware another radio interview took place toady Tuesday 28th on ABC South East Radio in regards to the lack of Beach Patrol funding for this summer.

No doubt a transcript will be available for your reading pleasure shortly.

In general the content reiterated that Tuross had no beach patrol and that time was now running out to organise a summer Patrol using Australian Lifesaving Services.

The ABC will be seeking comment from representatives of the Tuross Head Business Owners Association tommorow.

It is vital to the financial viability of this township that a beach patrol be in place.

We understand that a response will be sought from Council of the status of this matter.

We are hopeful that you will go on radio and give an ABSOLUTE UNDERTAKING TO COMMIT FUNDS TO A PATROL FOR THE SUMMER OF 2010/2011 SHOULD A SPONSOR NOT BE FOUND IN THE NEXT WEEK.

Please note it will be most difficult from the THBOA point of view not to make comments to air of:

* the apparent lack of any business risk assessment to tourism and the financial well being of affected communities in Eurobodalla when the descision was made to withdraw Beach patrol funding with no alternate provision established to provide a continuity and assurity of beach patrol service.

* the possible withholding from the general public of the annual Australian Lifesaving Services 2009/2010 report which showed increases in the Beach Patrol service demands of the previous summer including the number of lives saved in that period. It took six months after the report was provided to Council. to see the figures and that was only after an open request by the Tuross Head Progress Association to yourself (a copy has now been provided with an assurity by Council it will be possted to their website "in the near future")

As yet there has been no response to the matter by Tourism Eurobodalla to its Tuross members outraged that one hand of Council has seriously undermined the other.

Whilst lives are at stake in this regard the livelihood of our businesses, our families and our community is now placed at even higher risk for the sake of $24,000 for the Tuross Patrol.

Whilst you suggested that the community chip in let it be known that over the last twelve months this community has suffered from the GFC, a lake that was closed, two floods, a toxic container being found in the lake resulting in statenwide media coverage of the cleanup, all contributing to a loss of income and a downturn in visitor trade, and now we are bought to our financial knees once agin with visitors withdrawing their summer holiday bookings because of your descision. There is no $24.000 available from local business - it turns out we are suffering as much as Council however..... the loss of revenue from the resultant press in regards to withdrawal of beach patrol funding now vastly exceeds, for Eurobodalla Shire Council, the mere $150,000 that was required.

Loss of face, loss of faith, loss of any hint of community mindedness, lack of foresightedness and anticipation of the events that would unfurl and lack of any forthright, responsible and timely response that would quell the tide of bad press for the Eurobodalla - the losses far exceed $150,000 for Product Eurobodalla and sadly for Community Tuross

We await the phonecall from Tim Holt tommorow.

With the longweekend approaching the opportunity will arise for a public meeting to be held at One Tree Point to give residents and visitors some background into the situation and to hear the concerns of both the Lifesaving representives, the Tuross business representatives and speakers from our other local Tuross Head organisations such as the VRA and Tuross Progress Association.

Should this come to pass we will extend Councillors an invitation to attend so that they might explain their descision in regard to withdrawal of the Beach Patrol funding.

Regards
the 72 very concerned members of the THBOA
http://www.turosshead.org/THBOA/THBOA.htm

 

An email sent to the Eurobodalla Shire Mayor and Councillors
BCC THBOA members - September 27, 2010


Beach Patrol - Tuross Head - ABC Local Radio News article
September 27, 2010 at 09:50:00

Mr Mayor.

The following article has been aired today, September 27, 2010

Concern over withdrawal of lifeguards at Tuross

Posted September 27, 2010 09:50:00

A life-saving official says the withdrawal of paid beach lifeguards will have a major economic effect on a Eurobodalla tourist centre on the New South Wales far south coast.

The Shire Council has axed profession beach patrols to help plug a $1m budget hole and called on licensed clubs to foot the bill for paid lifesavers in the shire's north.

But with the opening of the surfing season at the weekend, Andrew Edmonds from Far South Coast Surf Live-saving says beaches in the south have been left without patrols.

Mr Edmonds says swimmers at Tuross should look for alternative beaches.

"If you are not a confident swimmer and not familiar with the surf conditions I wouldn't go to those beaches," he said.

"I would head north to Moruya or Narooma in the south and just avoid swimming in the area altogether.

"Now that could obviously have a profound impact on tourism and businesses in that community so we strongly encourage the Eurobodalla Council to retain the life guard service there."

source


The members of the Tuross Head Business Association are outraged and in horror of the suggestion that summer visitors "head north to Moruya or Narooma in the south and just avoid swimming in the area altogether."

Such a radio broadcast at a time of high numbers of ACT and NSW visitors beeing in earshot whilst on school holidays is perilous to our summer holiday visitation and to our overall financial well being.

The radio statement ended with :"Now that could obviously have a profound impact on tourism and businesses in that community so we strongly encourage the Eurobodalla Council to retain the life guard service there."

Yes indded there will be a profound impact and it is absolutely vital that Council publically declares, as soon as possible. that there will be a Beach patrol in the local and ACT media and quash all rumours immediately.

Can you please advise our acting secretary of your immediate response to the above request and the above news item so that your answer can be immediately distributed to our seventy two members (and growing)

Should there be no response within 48 hours the THBOA will be calling a public meeting for this long weekend to inform the wider community of Councils actions and lack of response.

This has now become a very serious issue that needs to be nipped in the bud IMMEDIATELY

regards

Lei Parker

Acting THBOA Secretary


Status - Media statement released by Council

Eurobodalla Shire Council Media Release

28 September 2010

Surf Lifesaving starts recruiting Eurobodalla lifeguards

Eurobodalla Shire Council has asked Surf Lifesaving NSW to begin recruiting professional lifeguards to patrol four of the Eurobodalla’s beaches for six weeks over summer.

Patrols on the four beaches – Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Broulee and Narooma – are being funded by local businesses and stakeholders.

Club Catalina, the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club and the Village Centre will sponsor the professional lifeguards for Surf Beach and Malua Bay and the Tomakin Social Club will sponsor Broulee. Narooma’s lifeguards are being provided courtesy of Country Energy, the Narooma Plaza and Dial Before You Dig.

Eurobodalla Shire Mayor, Fergus Thomson, says funding continues to be sought for the beaches at Tuross Head, Moruya and Dalmeny, and that he was disappointed by the response he had received from the NSW Government. “We were unsuccessful in our bid to seek support for Dalmeny from the National Parks and Wildlife Service but we are still exploring other avenues to fund professional lifeguards there.”

Funding is still also being sought for Moruya and negotiations to provide lifeguards at Tuross Head are well underway.

The Mayor said he would like to congratulate all the sponsors so far who have entered into sponsorship agreements and asks the community to support these businesses in this endeavour.

Volunteer lifesavers will continue to patrol Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya and Narooma beaches on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during summer as they have in past years. The professional lifeguards will patrol the beaches from Monday to Friday and are expected to start around 18 December and finish on Australia Day, 26 January 2011.

ENDS

 

In an email sent to THBOA members the following comment was made:

In the above media release it says "Funding is still also being sought for Moruya and negotiations to provide lifeguards at Tuross Head are well underway."

What if the Mayor had said "Funding is still also being sought for Moruya and negotiations to provide lifeguards at Tuross Head are well underway and we can give the
residents, visitors and busnesses of Tuross Head an absolute assurance that there will be a beach patrol this summer."

Such a loss of opportunity - It would have just all gone away - Council could have been the heros, the behind the scene financing and sponsorship deals could have continued and the community , summer visitors and busnesses could have breathed a sigh of relief.

SADLY THE GAME STILL CONTINUES.......

The THBOA will continue to press hard on Council to confirm that there will be patrols, and that they will also cover Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays.


 

Cutbacks hit Tuross tourism
BY PAMELA FROST Bay Post - 24 Sep, 2010

 

Sunday Sept 19th, 2010 - General Meeting regarding Beach Patrol Tuross
Proposed withdrawal of Beach patrol - Tuross Head – Summer 2010 / 2011

held at Tern Inn – read notes here

 

The following is a media release from the previous summer

Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Lifeguards on Eurobodalla beaches this Summer

From this Saturday 19 December, professional lifeguards will join Surf Life Saving volunteers in patrolling seven of the Shire's beaches.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has contracted Surf Life Saving Services NSW to provide two professional lifeguards per beach at Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya, Tuross, Dalmeny and Narooma until Australia Day, Tuesday 26 January 2010.

The lifeguards will be on each beach from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.

In addition, the volunteer Surf Life Saving Services that have been working since early October will patrol Malua Bay, Broulee, Moruya and Narooma beaches during public holidays, Sundays and a half day on Saturdays.

With our beaches the focus of much activity over summer, Council's Director for Roads and Recreation, Warren Sharpe, says the professional services of Australian lifeguards and the volunteers of Surf Life Saving enhance beach safety in the Eurobodalla.

"We'd like all our visitors to have a safe and enjoyable time over the coming holiday period. We ask therefore that they take the safer option and swim at the patrolled beaches," he said.