by Liana Turner
EXTRA renovations will get a big kickstart at Salt Surf Life Saving Club with a $350,000 grant.
The State Government recently announced the volunteer club would receive the funding as part of the 2017/18 Surf Club Facility Program.
Salt SLSC president Greg Lovett said the club had been "very lucky” in getting a helping hand from the state government.
After applying for the grant last year, Mr Lovett hoped construction on their club revamp would be finalised in time for next summer's patrolling season.
"This will be the funds we need for the fit-out, for everything from the tables and chairs upstairs to audio visual training, even floor coverings,” Mr Lovett said.
"This now gives us the ability to have some better equipment.
"We're going to be able to open as a proper club, on par with any other clubs in the state or the region.”
Mr Lovett said construction was expected to begin early next month, pending the final green light from council.
"What I want to achieve is to have the facility open for next season's patrol,” he said.
The funding boost comes amid a busy season for the club, which patrols a stretch of the Tweed Coast heavily inundated with visitors each summer.
"It has been busy and we've had some pretty favourable weather,” he said.
Thankfully, the summer has been without incident for Salt SLSC, after international student Ravneet Singh Gill drowned at the unpatrolled Duranbah Beach on Christmas Day.
Mr Lovett urged all beach-goers to swim between the flags and only swim at patrolled beaches. Their patrol season will span until the Anzac Day long weekend.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the funding would help to make more renovations and extra storage area possible for the club, which patrols Salt Beach.
"The aim of this program is to increase the availability, standard and quality of surf lifesaving clubs in NSW for the benefit of their members and the wider community,” Mr Provest said.
"The NSW Government wants to make the work of life savers as easy as possible - we can't control the water but we can improve facilities like this.
"It is a great pleasure to be able to advocate on behalf of our community and to see results like this.”