Photo taken prior to social distancing restrictions.

A number of surf life saving clubs are big winners from the NSW Nationals in the state government’s latest round of club infrastructure funding, according to Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis.

“Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club has been awarded over $100,000 to upgrade change rooms, toilets and disabled amenities while Yamba has won more than $30,000 for a refurbishment that will include electrical works and new roller doors on the boat shed,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Given the reduced surf club activity because of winter and the coronavirus, this is the perfect time for works which will support hard pressed local tradies.

“Surf clubs don’t just save lives, they teach young people all sorts or life skills to equip them for the future, so this is a really good investment.”

The grants follow recent news that the NSW Nationals in the state government are upping shark protection with shark spotting drones at both Evans Head and Yamba.

NSW Nationals Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey welcomed $83,000 for Macksville Scotts Head Surf Life Saving Club , which will fund the replacement of the roof.

“Our local volunteers play a vital role patrolling our beaches and keeping us safe in the water,” Ms Pavey said.

“The Surf Club Facility Program assists in the continued improvement of surf life saving clubs and I congratulate the club.”

NSW Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club received over $30,000 to upgrade its security system and replace clubhouse roller doors, while Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club received over $58,000 to construct a waste management compound.

“The drought and bushfires have had a devastating effect on North Coast communities but our local volunteers never wavered in their commitment to ensuring our safety,” Mr Singh said.

NSW Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead meanwhile announced that the Old Bar Surf Life Saving Club had received $350,000 in funding under the program.

CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW Steve Pearce said these grants would ensure rescue facilities at the 26 clubs remained safe, accessible and secure.

“Surf Life Saving Clubs are often the hub of their communities and our volunteer lifesavers should have access to fit-for-purpose facilities so they can focus on saving lives,” Mr Pearce said.