Club roof design hits troubled waters

DESIGN of the proposed Minnie Water-Wooli surf club headquarters is shaping up to be one of the hot items on the agenda at next Tuesday's Clarence Valley Council meeting in Grafton.

After running last Friday's story on the decision by council's environment, economic and community committee to recommend allowing the surf club's design changes to pass council, The Daily Examiner was contacted by a number of Minnie Water residents wanting to have their say.

Karen Armstrong is one of a number of Minnie Water residents who feels 'let down' by the surf club's application to modify the original plan, which includes dumping the 'wave' roof design.

“The surf club put forward a concept plan with the wave roof and the community thought that was the best option,” she said.

“The wave roof was the deal-maker and ... for the past 12 months we thought the agreement was going to stand.

“But I am completely disappointed given that without even consulting the community they (the surf club) took the modifications to council.”

Ms Armstrong said the agreement between the Minnie Water community and the surf club was reflected in a council media release in January 2008 authorised by then mayor Ian Tiley.

The media release stated that: “The layout and design of the surf club reflects the preferred outcome derived from extensive community consultation.”

Renee Bridge, another Minnie Water resident, also believes the surf club has reneged on its agreement with the community.

“It's all about the surf club honouring a commitment it made with the Minnie Water community,” Ms Bridge said.

“If the surf club wants to be a part of the community it needs to be prepared to consult the community on community issues. Only then can trust grow.

“Karen (Armstrong) has been fabulous in the way she's followed this through and represented the community on this issue. The residents are very grateful.”

Last week, Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Life Saving Club president Tony Benfield told The Examiner the club had decided to change the roof design to save about $80,000.

He said he respected the community's right to their views but it had 'gone beyond' what was reasonable. It was time to 'get on with building the clubhouse'.

Clarence Valley councillors will decide the outcome on Tuesday.

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