Surf club battles tide

By Chris Thomson | posted on September 13, 2018

A SPECTACULAR new surf club building revealed to Weekender readers a fortnight ago cannot come soon enough for Denmark, with the Southern Ocean undermining the concourse and contorting ramps leading up to the current clubhouse.

Shire CEO Bill Parker confirmed suspicions raised by a visual inspection at Ocean Beach on Sunday – that high tides and large swells had eroded the sand at the front of the club.

“This has undermined some structures and caused paving to collapse,” Mr Parker said.

“At the moment, the Shire is making the area safe by restricting access and conducting regular inspections.”

Red-and-white tape marked ‘DANGER’ surrounds subsided areas, including a stretch of the paved concourse that has collapsed.

Surf club president Jane Kelsbie said she had not seen the paving collapse before.

Shire Councillor Rob Whooley who was controversially sacked as chief Shire engineer in 2015 (see below) said repairs to other erosion around the club had been necessary in his day.

And a section of the concourse was rebuilt in 1999 after major erosion back then.

Mr Parker said high tides and large swells were expected over the next few weeks and damage would be repaired thereafter.

He said the Shire had identified the erosion would have occurred at some stage.

“As a result, the Shire has been working with the Denmark Surf Club in terms of relocating and potentially establishing a new facility,” he said.

The Weekender revealed as much on August 30 (‘Denmark surf club plans surface on architect site’), pointing readers to renders of the planned clubhouse higher up on the hill that overlooks Ocean Beach.

Shire President Ceinwen Gearon said council staff had been down to the beach to have a look.

“So, we know what needs to be done but we have to wait because there is another swell coming through and there’s no point in trying to fix it now,” she added.

She said a silver lining to the erosion was that local surfers were digging the big swell.

“When I went down there late this after- noon there was certainly plenty of surfers out there and they were still piling in,” she said on Tuesday.

“They’ve had some magnificent days of surfing over the past few days.”