NSW South Coast surfers achieve World Record, but organisers accuse State Government of worst ever record on protecting beaches from commercial land grabs.
The NSW Berejiklian Government have been accused of burying their heads in the sand by 2000 angry Community members who attended a protest rally at Killalea National Surfing Reserve on Saturday. They gathered in opposition to the increased privatisation of public coastal land at their local beach reserve, and concerns for other coastal hotspots in NSW.
The rally followed the successful World Record for the largest paddle out of 682 surfers, from the previous record set by Californian surfers in 2017 of 511. It will be registered with the Guinness World Records before being made official.
The vocal community of Shellharbour will continue to block any further privatisation attempts with the backing of State and Federal MP’s who attended and spoke at the Killalea Rally. Protest paddle-out organiser and Chair of the Killalea National Surfing Reserve Committee, Chris Homer, said “Killalea and beach communities including Crescent Head, appear to be under the same threat of carving up protected public assets.
“This amounts to coastal privatisation by stealth,” Mr Homer said.
Killalea is one of nine National Surfing Reserves in NSW protected under Crown Land legislation, which was passed by Minister Tony Kelly in 2006, to ensure the protection of iconic surfing sites in NSW.
Brad Farmer AM, founder of NSR who negotiated the legislation, has demanded the NSW Premier provide an assurance to NSW surfers and beach goers that no further proposals which may encroach on public reserve coastal land takes place.
“If NSW is to continue its status as the premier beach state in Australia, Premier BJ needs to properly resource communities and present a comprehensive coastal zone management plan that precludes any further privatisation”, Mr Farmer said.
Even iconic Bondi Beach is currently the subject of a DA to allow for an exclusive private beach club on the sands, while at Byron Bay the Shire is struggling to get the State Government to address erosion issues, which threaten its local tourism economy.