This week’s surprise announcement by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that her government would strive to introduce legislation protecting the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve immediately raised the question, what about us? Slip of the tongue or was the Premier unaware that Queensland’s second World Surfing Reserve will be dedicated on February 21? Government insiders hurriedly assured us that no legislation would favour one coast over the other. -PJ
Queensland Premier vows to protect famed Gold Coast breaks
12 February 20
An international gathering of ocean-loving environmentalists on the Gold Coast has made an impact on its opening day after the Queensland Government announced it would look at laws to protect the State’s world-famous surf breaks.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement at Greenmount Beach, in the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, on Tuesday morning ahead of the opening of the 6th Biennial Global Wave Conference.at the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross University.
Ms Palaszczuk, who was joined on the beach by Global Wave Conference chair Andrew McKinnon, surfing great Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew, Labor’s candidate for the State seat of Currumbin Kaylee Campradt and Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni, said she had asked Minister de Brenni to look into legal protection for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve.
The 16km stretch of Coast from Burleigh to Point Danger was officially declared the 8th World Surfing Reserve in March 2016.
“What I’ve been hearing from people is that they would like a bit more security around the reserve and my government is now going to actively look at legislating the surf reserve here in Queensland,”the Premier said.
“That’s something I know many people have been talking to us about. Kaylee’s raised it with me. So that’s something we are going to do because this area is beautiful. It is loved by surfers.
“We’re going to actively look at legislating.
“We’ll be looking at what’s happening around the world and we’ll be making sure that we get the top people working on this to ensure how we can legislate to protect this for future generations.
“I don’t want to see it disturbed in 20, 30, 40 or 50 years’ time. I want to make sure that this area of the Coast is absolutely protected as a surf reserve.”
Mr de Brenni, who paddled out to surf the Coast’s big swell before the Premier’s announcement and returned for a second session later in the day with Olympic team coach Bede Durbidge, said surfing offered immeasurable benefits to the community.
“As a surfer and as the Minister for Sport, I hear from a lot of people that they would like to see ongoing protection and conservation of our wave zones, our beaches and everything that surrounds them,” he said.