Fanning speaks out in opposition of the Kirra Cruise Ship Terminal
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 January, 2014 -- Three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning has joined a campaign to save his favourite Gold Coast surf beach from a proposed $2 billion cruise ship terminal.
Fanning, who spent his teenage years honing his surfing skills at Kirra beach, spoke out today about the controversial development planned at the beach.
Fanning has signed a petition on change.org opposing the development, as well as tweeting about the petition to his 138,000 Twitter followers. More than 7000 people have signed the petition.
Mick Fanning was on the beach at the North Kirra site this morning signing autographs having his photo taken and greeted warmly by an enthusiastic army of supporters. The current 3 times World Professional champ was outlining his views and concerns about Kirra and the Cruise Ship Terminal/Casino issue on public land.
Today, Fanning released the following statement:
“My favourite wave in the world is Kirra… and I’m not the only surfer that feels that way. So when I heard about the proposed cruise ship terminal my first thought was we’re going to lose one of the greatest surf destinations on earth.
“The more I looked into the proposed development though I realised we are at risk of losing so much more than the wave. The pollution that comes from these cruise ships will no doubt have an impact on marine life and the beautiful crystal clear waters surfers, families and visitors enjoy on the Gold Coast every day.
“The unprecedented reclaiming of public land and beach that makes up part of our coastal lifestyle will be taken from us and future generations. This development is wrong on so many levels and I hope people that share my view make their voices heard and join the resistance."
Fanning and fellow surfing champion Joel Parkinson will take part in a “Paddle-Out” protest at North Kirra on Sunday week (19 January) meeting at North Kirra 10am Qld time. Those who can’t paddle are being asked to turn up at the beach for a land-based protest.
Petition starter and Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance spokesman Andrew McKinnon said: “There should be no terminals or casinos on any section of the coastal strip from South Straddie to the Coolangatta Tweed border.”
Save Our Southern Beaches SOSBA who are hosting a public Paddle out and beach turnout for Sunday 19th January from 10amQld at North Kirra have now ramped up their campaign and broadened their message to demand:
"No Terminals, No Casinos, Keep Our Coastline Clear" for the Gold Coast 38k Coastal strip from South Straddie to Coolangatta.
Initially the protest paddle out was aimed at stopping the proposed $2 Billion Ocean Terminal/ Casino/Marina Proposal at North Kirra/Bilinga but SOSBA spokesman Andrew McKinnon said,
“Our message covers the whole Gold Coast coastal strip - NO TERMINALS, NO CASINOS, and KEEP OUR COASTLINE CLEAR. NO Public land grab for commercial exploitation of our Coastal strip from South Straddie to the Coolangatta Tweed Border.”
SOSBA stood side by side with SAVEOURSPIT at the Spitfire demonstration in November 2012 opposed to the State Government and Mayor Tom Tate’s Broadwater (next to South Straddie) plan for Cruise Ship/Casino on public land.
The North Kirra Bilinga proposal was just another ludicrous proposal on public land that some believe was used as a smokescreen to make the Broadwater development plan look better.
However according recent reports in the media, Deputy Premier of Queensland, Jeff Seeney poured cold water on the North Kirra Proposal calling it a “ long shot ”and said the Broadwater proposal was fraught with problems namely the dredging aspect saying, “There are serious technical and economic feasibility problems that need to be overcome.”
“The solidarity with our Northern brethren is as strong as ever and we are totally united against any Cruise Ship Proposal for either end of the Coast, Casino’s on the Coastline and the desperate land grab of public land for commercial developments,” said McKinnon who called on the Queensland State Government to bury the Cruise Ship proposal for the Broadwater and any notion an Ocean terminal could happen at North Kirra/Bilinga.
“First and foremost, we call on the Queensland State Government to fully reject Cruise Ship Terminal Developments for The Gold Coast. We believe that Brisbane is a far better venue capable of handling such an Industry and is only 1 hour from the Gold Coast.”
“We will work in with the State Government authorities to plan for a Heritage listing of our precious 19 kilometres of the iconic Gold Coast strip from South Straddie to the Coolangatta/Tweed border and to ensure we protect our priceless natural assets, some of which have already been declared as part of the National Surf Reserves strategy for our future generations.”
3 Times World Champion Mick Fanning has been an ardent opponent of the Cruise Ship developments from day one when it was first proposed for Southport Seaway which would grossly affect South Straddie known as TOS (The Other Side) and one of the World’s best beach breaks.
He was equally horrified by the North Kirra proposal and released a fresh statement this afternoon outlining his opposition to such a development.
Organizers of the Paddle Out at North Kirra on Sunday 19th of January are asking participants to arrive early in order to register for the paddle –out.
An online petition is being set up on the Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance Facebook page. Those who can’t paddle are still asked to turn up on the beach and form a visible sign in the sand that will be documented from above.
The local Indigenous community will be performing a Welcome to Country traditional dance to bless the opening at 10am Qld time followed by speeches from World Champs Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and Qld State minister of Tourism, Major Events, Commonwealth Games and Small Business Jann Stuckey the member of Currumbin.
A petition can be found on Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance.