Call for Gold Coast surf management plan
Surf Management Opinion
An open letter from National Surfing Reserves' chairman Brad Farmer
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 October, 2012 : - - 'After 50+ years of celebrating surfing on the Gold Coast, it is overdue to initiate a strategic plan of management, working title: GCSMP. It’s claimed that the GC has the greatest stretch of surfing coast of any city in the world. It’s waves and beaches have been the economic driver for the city for decades.
With Australia’s largest population of surfers (and the largest per capita in the world) it is remarkable that such a plan has not been developed to ensure the long term sustainability of the resource.
While local parks, waterways, reserves and hinterland World Heritage areas all have management plans, it is staggering that the City of the Gold Coast has no such plan of management specifically for it surfing beaches. Other natural (Forestry) and economic resources (Mining) have stringent management plans to safeguard against loss, mismanagement and to guide decision makers.
The surfing amenity (worth billions) has been taken for granted for too long and there is currently and historically no mechanism for surfers and beach goers to have a say toward a long-term sustainable environmental, social and cultural plan. On one of the most highly engineered coastlines in the world, proposals and decisions are at best ad hoc, and largely taken with an unsystematic and partial approach; often aggressively developer-driven.
Brad Farmer (GC born, founder Surfrider, NSR & WSR) has approached (16.10) Burleigh Heads Cllr, Greg Betts to initiate such a plan within Council this year. Without one (a GCSMP) it’s akin chipping away Uluru or watching the Pyramids being taken away or modified one stone at a time. The Goose (that laid the golden egg) is being strangled by successive councils.
It’s high time this Council and these Councillors, become that Council did the right thing in 2013/14 to maintain our reputation as the greatest surfing city in the world, by implementing a (strategic) ‘Gold Coast Surf Management Plan’.
Bells Beach (VIC) and California have such plans, but not the GC. It’s more than an oversight now, it’s an national embarrassment. I would be urging the GCCC to appropriate funding to undertake such a plan as a priority. The GC could be held up as a world leader in surfing coast management if they act now.”
Source: Surfing Reserves
Author: Brad Farmer
Tags: Gold Coast, Surfing Reserves, Burleigh Heads, Environment