Council will be calling on a 2021-2024 tender for surfing schools.
Council will be calling on a 2021-2024 tender for surfing schools.

Surf schools face 'extremely stressful' red tape nightmare

SURF schools, elite surf coaching and stand up paddle board coaching operating in the Ballina shire will have to reapply for their licences.

Ballina Shire Council agreed to call for a new licensing public tender process for a three-year period, from May 2021 to April 2024.

The licensing fees for surf schools will remain the same ($6,500) for 2021 and 2022, and a 3 per cent increase in 2023 to $6,695.

Elite surf coaching fees and stand up paddle board coaching fees will remain at $2166, except in 2023 when they will be $2230.

Ballina is planning to offer five surf school licences, allowing one instructor per eight clients, with a maximum of 20 people and a maximum of two sessions per day.

There will be six elite surf coaching licences with one instructor per seven clients.

Three licences will be offered for stand up paddle board coaches, able to teach eight clients at the time.

 

Ballina Shire Council is planning to offer five surf school licences for one instructor per eight clients from 2021.
Ballina Shire Council is planning to offer five surf school licences for one instructor per eight clients from 2021.

 

Sean Riley, co-owner of Soul Surf School Byron Bay offered a deputation against the tender process proposed, and asked for the licensing to be done over six years.

"The tenders are extremely costly to our businesses and council alike, in a time that has been extremely stressful to the incumbent operators," he said.

"The proposed tender, right at the time that the Jobkeeper finishes, is going to create a lot of uncertainty as to how we are going to run our day-to-day business and staffing costs."

Licences were originally issued through a tender process in 2010, where council increased the number of surf schools allowed in the policy.

In September 2013, council resolved to extend current licences without tender, with the same in August 2016 and April 2017.

Tenders were called and appointed by council in April 2018, with five licences offered.

Council had previously been reluctant to call tenders, due to the risk that an existing operator could lose their livelihood.


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