Ballina surf clubs $600k blowout

COSTS for Ballina's new surf lifesaving club are almost $600,000 over budget.

And that's before the start of any construction work, with a development application for building on the new site closer to the beach yet to be lodged.

Ballina Shire Council general manager Paul Hickey said the revised costings now tot-alled $6.394 million.

The budget for the project is $5.8 million.

At this week's commercial services committee meeting, councillors decided the project had to be reined in so it stayed within budget. That includes the fit-out of the facility.

“We have now received a quantity surveyor's report providing an updated estimate for the total works,” Mr Hickey said.

“With a 10% contingency on top of all the estimates provided, the project is $594,000 over budget.

“Council staff will now be sitting down with the architect and surf club to review the project to identify where savings can be made.

“This is the normal process we follow and we will not begoing to tender for the construction of the building until the project estimate is within the council-approved budget.”

Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club president Kris Beavis said they were looking forward to starting work on the project.

But he raised concerns about the proposed management of the new building.

He said the development application should be lodged now, even without the finalisation of the management issues, so they could “get on with it”.

“We are asking that the DA be divorced from the management issues,” he said.

“We have an opportunity to secure 50 to 60-year facilities for the Ballina shire and we don't want that compromised.”

The council wants to retain control over the café, function rooms and first-floor amenities. Expressions of interest will be called for the lease of the café and management of the function centre, but the council said the surf club “will be entitled to lodge a submission for those management rights”. Revenue would only be spent on building maintenance and other surf club activities.

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