NSW government recognizes Surfest as important to local economy
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 August, 2014 - Surfest officials announce NSW Government support for the event beyond its 30th anniversary in 2015. Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner has announced a further two years of NSW Government support for one of the world’s oldest professional surfing events, Newcastle Surfest Australia.
“Surfest continues to draw thousands of surf-fans to Newcastle each February, with this year’s event seeing close to 2,900 visitors from outside the region generating more than $1.2 million in visitor expenditure for the local economy,” Mr Stoner said. Surfest chief Warren Smith welcomed the news.
"It means that Surfest can both plan and invest in its continual renewal and it's a real weight off the shoulders to have this support from the NSW government. Smith welcomed the efforts of Tim Owen in assisting the event secure further funding.
"Ever since he took office, the Member for Newcastle Tim Owen has been a terrific supporter of the event and his advocacy and assistance has been really appreciated and its that help that has seen the NSW government back Surfest until 2016," Mr Smith said.
Mr Owen said Surfest is important to both the local economy and community. “Surfest brings significant national and international media coverage to Newcastle each year, and webcast facilities enable people across the world to see some of the world’s top surfers battle it out at Merewether Beach,” Mr Owen said.
“It is particularly special that in 2015 we will be celebrating 30 successful years of the Surfest, from its inception as the BHP Steel Invitational in 1986, when it was the richest professional surfing event in the world, to now being a fixture of the ASP World Qualifying Series.”