North Kirra Beach Rally attracts 2500 people
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 January, 2014 - The organizers of the North Kirra Beach rally opposed to public land grab on Gold Coast Beaches, Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance, are delighted with the 2,500 people who turned out for the peaceful Sunday protest.
Originally planned as the Big Paddle Out, Organizers were concerned about the pumping 1.5 Easterly swell and strong current, and opted for a Beach-Out where participants instead of paddling were asked to form the letters WSR in the sand, meaning World Surfing Reserve.
Spokesperson for SOSBA Andrew McKinnon said, “Our new mission is to protect the 38km Gold Coast coastal strip from South Stradbroke to Coolangatta by having it declared as a World Surfing Reserve! This has been done successfully in Peru, South America, which has been listed as a World Surfing Reserve, and where the Peruvian Government have legislated to protect their surf breaks in October 2013.
We will formulate a similar policy to take to Federal, State and local Governments to adopt and protect the beach and surfing amenity from commercial development on public beachfront land.”
Last Thursday, Premier Newman, rejected a $2 Billion Ocean Terminal from happening at North Kirra. Gold Coast Ocean Terminal Company responded by saying they would resubmit new plans at the North Kirra site without the Ocean Terminal for Cruise Ships, but replace it with a multi-billion dollar integrated tourism resort and casino on the same site. When asked about the latest proposal, the local community who attended today’s rally were unanimously opposes to GCOT new plan.
SOSBA together with SAVEOURSPIT group (opposed to the Cruise Ship Broadwater Marine Park) stand united against Gold Coast Mayor’s plan for a Cruise Ship/Casino on public land at the Southport Spit which would also impact on South Straddie one of the World’s best beach breaks on the Northern side of the Southport Seaway.
Premier Newman said on Gold Coast ABC radio on Thursday that he was against any public development on beachfront land after spending some relaxing time at the beach during the holiday break. His Qld State Minister of Tourism Jann Stuckey who attended todays North Kirra rally agreed with the Premier.
“We call on the Premier to reject both the North Kirra and Broadwater public land grab and endorse the World Surfing Reserve concept. The Beach and surf amenity is worth billions of dollars and we must protect it for now and the future! “, said McKinnon.
World Champions Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson attended the North Kirra rally and backed the organizers call for a World Surfing Reserve on the Gold Coast coastal strip. “We need to protect our Coastline from these type of developments and not find in 10 -15 years that we are fighting all over again,” said 2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson.
Qld State Cabinet will meet in February to decide the fate of Tom Tate’s Broadwater Marine Park which the Premier stressed was not a State Government initiative.
“We hope that in light of our public awareness campaign that the State Government will understand our message and we SOSBA request that the Newman Government reject both the Broadwater and North Kirra proposals and move forward with our plan of a World Surfing Reserve”, said Jim Wilson, Chairman of SOSBA.