Migrant Beach Safety Day. Photo: supplied.

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BY JADE MORELLINI

Tamarama Beach’s iconic clubhouse, Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club is getting a $4.56 million face lift after years of corrosion.

Founded in 1906 after the closure of Wonderland Park, which was Sydney’s first coastal amusement park, it carries the history and culture of over a century.

The Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club was a place for the community to enjoy, and a hub for the club’s surf lifesaving operations. Due to the constant patrolling of lifesavers, Tamarama Beach was awarded the reputation of “no lives lost”.

However with the passing of the years it has degraded and is no longer fit for purpose.

A development application which was put forward in 2014 has finally been approved despite receiving opposition from a number of local residents.

Andrew Farley, spokesperson for Tamarama Surf Life Saving said, “The redevelopment will transform the iconic clubhouse into an education and training centre for surf lifesaving operations, beach safety, education programs and use by community groups.”

The centre will contain a community hall, a conference room equipped with audio and visual facilities, a kitchen, gymnasium, change rooms and disabled access to allow easier use for a broader range of groups.

A major part of their plan centres on providing more space to educate the publics’ knowledge on beach safety.

“The new facility will underpin an expansion of the club’s existing Migrant Beach Safety Day program that will educate around 700 participants this year and increase to over 10,000 people per year from migrant, tourist and school groups,” Farley said. “The club will double available use by community groups, like Zumba, martial arts and gymnastics, to 2,000 hours per year and the club’s lifesavers will benefit from enhanced training facilities that will better equip them to patrol one of the coast’s most challenging beaches.”

In order to make this happen, they will need $4.56 million.

“We have $3.3 million already committed, from members, the business community and all levels of government and we are currently planning a major fundraising event for the end of 2018 with further details to be released during the year,” Farley said.

They estimate that the redevelopment of the surf club will take 12 to 14 months and they aim to begin construction “once the final portions of support being sourced are finalised.”

With many locals opposing the renovations in fear of losing the heritage of the site, Farley promises that they will keep the history there.

“Since it was founded in 1906, Tamarama SLSC has been an innovator in the surf lifesaving movement,” Farley said. “A designated area will be incorporated within the new building for display of the club’s heritage items for members and the broader public to enjoy in order to balance the modernisation of the building and the preservation of its unique history.”

Waverley Council were approached but they could not provide a comment.