Endless Summer @ Tathra

Post date: Thursday, 15 January 2015 - 12:00am





LIFEGUARD patrols will continue at Tathra Beach until the end of February thanks to the Tathra and District Chamber of Commerce and a Southern Phones Mayoral Grant funded from its annual dividend.

The extension of lifeguard services next month means Tathra Beach will be the only beach in the area to be patrolled seven days a week through February.

Bega Valley Shire Council funds the paid lifeguard service at eight locations across the shire until the end of January.

However, to encourage more people to visit Tathra throughout summer the Tathra and District Chamber of Commerce could see the benefits of offering a fully patrolled beach to these visitors.

The Chamber, Tathra Beach House Apartments, Tathra Beach Family Park, BIG4 Tathra Beach Holiday Park and Bega Valley Motors each contributed $2000 towards the cost of the lifeguard service with funding also coming from Southern Phones.

Rob White from Tathra Beach House Apartments has been one of the key drivers of the campaign and feels the move will be a boon for the local tourism industry.

“I’ve been in the tourism industry for 20 years, and come the first day of February there has never been a patrolled beach option for holidaymakers,” Mr White said. 

“The water is warmer, the weather is still hot and there is also less wind during February.

“No matter where these people are staying on the Sapphire Coast it will be just a short drive to get to a safe patrolled beach.

“We want to promote the region as a great beach holiday destination, and we want people to have a safe time at the beach.

“We hope the trial works and shows it is a viable service so perhaps it can be extended in the future by council to give more visitors in February safe beach options,” Mr White said.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor Cr Michael Britten congratulated the Tathra Chamber of Commerce on its initiative.

He said the council was not in a position to fund additional lifeguard services in the shire, but was happy to facilitate the Tathra trial through its existing contract with Australian Lifeguard Services.

“This initiative is being championed by the Tathra Chamber of Commerce as a way of encouraging increased visitation during the February period, particularly targeting families who have children not yet at school,” Cr Britten said.

“It is an example of the community seeing an opportunity and working with council to deliver a community benefit.

“It also demonstrates Southern Phones’ commitment to repaying the communities that supported it in its early days.

“We are one of 41 councils who invested in the Moruya-based phone company and since then we have received annual dividends that have been reinvested in the local community.

“This year’s dividend of more than $196,000 came with a $25,000 bonus from Southern Phone that is being offered to local community groups through the Southern Phones Mayoral Grant,” Cr Britten said. 

The lifeguard service at Tathra will operate Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm and will be staffed by two professionally trained and qualified lifeguards in Australian Lifeguard Services branded uniforms.

Bega District News, January 15, 2015