Coffs Coast robbed of life saving champs

COFFS Harbour's chances of hosting the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships have been dealt a killer blow after an agreement was signed to take the titles back to the Gold Coast.

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) last week shook hands with the Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Government to hold the titles at Kurrawa Beach at least seven times between 2010 and 2022.

Kurrawa will play host for three years from 2010 to 2012, as well as 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020. Other States will be able to bid for the event 2013-14, 2017-18 and 2021-22.

Such a plan will make it tougher for Coffs Harbour City Council to bring together its plan to host the events at a developed Boambee Beach, which requires State and Federal funding.

“This is a serious blow to us in terms of preparing a meaningful bid for the titles,” the mayor Cr Keith Rhoades said yesterday.

“We had made it clear that we would be seeking an agreement to host the titles for more than three years to facilitate the multi-million dollar investment required to make it happen.”

Coffs Harbour originally bid for the 2007-2009 championships but after losing out to Western Australia was offered the chance to host the titles in 2010-2012.

A contract was signed between the council, SLSA and the NSW Government, with the titles to be held at Park Beach.

Loss of sand at Park Beach caused the venue to be officially moved to Boambee Beach last year, but with it came the need for more investment to create a suitable site.

Earlier this year, SLSA decided time was running out for the 2010 titles and decided to seek a new venue while working to renegotiate the contract with Coffs Harbour.

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