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Winds blow in favor of Gold Coast as World Surfing Reserve

Snapper Rocks: Image courtesy World Surfing Reserves



Environment Updates

Press Statement from Chairman of Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 February, 2015 - Currumbin, Gold Coast - Gold Coast’s bid for a World Surfing Reserve is looking much more positive in light of the recent Queensland State Election. “While the State Election result has yet to be finalised one could be excused for thinking that a Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve is now a distinct possibility,” said Chairman of Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Inc Andrew McKinnon.

Previous to the Qld election, the State Labor Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk have offered full support of a Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve and if elected said her party would legislate to protect.

GCWSR has sought a bi-partisan approach from both Political partys and had spoken to the LNP State Government prior to the State Election. The LNP had offered to write a letter to Gold Coast City Council and their Surf Management Plan Advisory Committee to hand over control of the nomination from State to Tom Tate(Gold Coast City Council.)

“In order for our nomination to be approved by the World Surf Reserve Authority, it must have either State or Council support,” said Mr McKinnon who added.

“I’d like to think that we could have bi-partisan support much like in the 2009 Qld State Election when both sides of State Government pledged support to Bring Back Kirra.”

McKinnon was keen to make the point that his group GCWSR Inc has sought an apolitical approach for support of the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve but that only State Labor had endorsed it.

“Hopefully we can now have both sides of the political fence in agreeance on what can only be a good thing for the Gold Coast for surfers and non-surfers alike. This is for everybody who enjoys and appreciates the coastal strip and the Worlds Best Beach and surf amenity.”

The GCWSR nomination has been tabled for the next Gold Coast City Councils new Surf Management Plan Advisory Committee meeting on February 17th of February.

Rabbit Bartholomew, Jay Phillips, State Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk,
and Labour MP Springwood Mick de Brenni in 2014.


A general meeting was held in March 2014 to create the Steering Committee.  The Gold Coast World Surfing Executive Committee is Andrew McKinnon (Chairman), Rabbit Bartholomew World Patron, Nicole Glennon (Secretary), Meme (Treasurer), Chris Butler NSR &WSR Co-ordinator, Dan Ware (GCSurf Council), Greg Howell (Tweed & Gold Coast Surfrider), John Charlton (President Surfing Qld), Nathan Fife (GCSLSA), Darren Crawford (SOS) & Tor Hundloe (Bond University.)

The GCWSR inc have worked on the required document submission covering all revelant aspects to pursue a World Surfing Reserve from the World Governing body.

Nominations close in October 2015 for Dedication Ceremony’s in 2016. Only one nomination per year is endorsed by the World Authority and to be successful requires State or Council support.

Gold Coast has 22 World Surfing Champions including honorary Gold Coast resident 11 times World Champion Kelly Slater and if successful a Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve would celebrate and honour this incredible indisputed worldwide statistic. See list of World Champs below.

World Surfing Reserves was founded in 2009 by an international group of surfers, scientists & environmentalists, to create and manage an ongoing, global network of Surfing Reserves that are recognized by the international surfing and environmental communities, and the general public. The network seeks to add an additional layer of protection for the areas, build local stewardship capacity, and educate the public about the value of these special places.

To qualify as a World Surfing Reserve, sites normally possess the following as minimum criteria: a globally-significant surf spot or outstanding series of surf breaks; unique environmental characteristics along with a strong passion to protect them; a rich surf culture and history; and strong community support.

Sites are evaluated on a combination of the above criteria, so in certain instances areas that score very high in one category and lower in another might still qualify and be accepted. Conversely, sites that score extremely low on one of the criteria might not be accepted despite ranking high on others. Additionally applications for sites that don't provide sufficient documentation or evidence regarding the various criteria might be delayed or asked to resubmit an application at a future time. For more info check out

GCWSR will like to officially recognize the 21 Gold Coast World Champions holding as many as 38 Individual World Titles, an impressively overwhelming statistic which is the envy of the surfing World. Kelly Slater who owns a Gold Coast residence would make 22 World Champs + 49 WT’s.

1. Phyllis O’Donnell 1964 first World Champion Womens.

2. Peter Townend 1976 first World Professional Mens.

3. Rabbit Bartholomew 1978 World Professional 2004 ASP World Masters (2).

4. Ashley Humphreys 1988 World Lifesaving.

5. Andrew Mckinnon 1988 WISA Longboards.

6. Wayne Deane 1990 WISA Longboards.

7. Shane Bevan 1990 WISA Junior.

8. Grant Frost 1992 WISA Mens.

9. Dave Rastovich 1996 WISA Grommets.

10. Dean Morrison 1998 WISA Junior.

11. Mark Occhilupo 1999 ASP World Professional Mens.

12. Clint Kimmins 2000 WISA Grommets.

13. Josh Kerr 2000 World Air.

14. Cheyne Horan 2002 ASP World Masters.

15 Gary Elkerton 2002 ASP World Masters.

16. Mick Fanning 2007 -09 -13 ASP World Professional (3).

17. Stephanie Gilmore 2007 08 09 10-12-14 ASP World Professional Womens ISA World Juniors 2004-06 (8).18. Chelsea Hodges 2007 WISA Womens ISA World Womens 2008 (2).

19. Jack Freestone 2012 -13 ASP World Professional Junior (2).

20. Joel Parkinson 2012 ASP World Professional Mens – ASP World Junior 1999 (2).

21. Chelsea Williams 2014 World Professional Longboard Womens.

For more info on Gold Coast World Surfing Reserves click on 


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