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Noosa seeks National & World Surfing Reserve status

Noosa © ASP/Robertson



Environmental Updates

Noosa will hopefully join NSRs Burleigh, Kirra, Currumbin & Snappers

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 February, 2014 -- Noosa is set to become Australia’s next National Surfing Reserve, and possibly become one of only a handful of surf destinations around the world to receive World Surfing Reserve status.

National Surfing Reserves patron Mr Brad Farmer today announced that following meetings with interested parties in Noosa during December and January, a steering committee had been formed, chaired by local surfing identity Phil Jarratt, to begin community consultation.

Mr Farmer said: “Noosa has been on our radar for quite some time, so it’s great to see the community take the initiative. NSR will be behind the committee every step of the way.”

If successful, Noosa would join Gold Coast point breaks Burleigh Heads, Kirra, Currumbin and Snapper Rocks as Queensland’s only National Surfing Reserves. Australia’s other 18 NSR’s include Manly-Freshwater in Sydney, Angourie and Crescent Head on the NSW North Coast, and Yallingup, WA.

Only Manly-Freshwater, the historic birthplace of surfboard riding in Australia, has World Surfing Reserve status.

National Surfing Reserves are ‘iconic’ places of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value. The concept of NSR is for all people to be able to enjoy, understand and protect special coastal environments of universal value to the surfing world. A National Surfing Reserve does not attempt to exclude any user group.

Phil Jarratt, director of the Noosa Festival of Surfing and a surfing historian and author, said that the committee was looking at NSR status as a stepping stone to becoming a world reserve.

“We’ve looked at the criteria for both and we don’t think there’s any doubt that Noosa’s famous point breaks tick every box. Our aim in the coming months will be to seek input from all beach users and stakeholders, then prepare a set of nominations for both National Surfing Reserve and then World Surfing Reserve.”

Mr Jarratt said the key points in the criteria were quality and consistency of the waves, a place considered sacred by the international surfing community, and a history of recognition as a prime surf location by national and international surfers.

He said that while some National Surfing Reserves had been gazetted by government, Noosa would not need to take this step.

“Three of our five world class point breaks are within the Noosa National Park, and the other two adjoin it, so this is not an issue of environmental protection. It is one of global recognition for one of Noosa’s greatest natural assets.”

Clubs and organisations represented at the formation meetings include Noosa Malibu Club, Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club, Noosa Boardriders, Noosa Shire Council, Noosa Biosphere, Surfing Queensland and Noosa Parks Association, Sunshine Coast Sports Federation.

Mr Jarratt said Tourism Noosa would also be asked to send a representative to future meetings, and that Noosa Mayor Noel Playford had endorsed the nomination and Councillors Tony Wellington and Frank Wilkie would be joining the working group.

State and Federal parliamentary representatives for the region had also been asked to endorse the nominations.

He said that the group planned to hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed nominations in late March, with a view to completing the nomination process in 2014.


Phil Jarrat

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