Surfing and environmental experts will gather on the Gold Coast today to discuss what new legal protections for Queensland’s World Surfing Reserves could look like.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni will drive discussion about how to legislate lasting protections for iconic point and beach breaks around Noosa, and the majestic stretch of ocean from Snapper to Burleigh on the Gold Coast.
“This is a major step forward after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk recently declared preservation of these iconic breaks as a top priority,” said Mr de Brenni.
“Today is about hearing from a range of key international experts including marine and environmental scientists, and representatives from surfing, to discuss how we can protect our World Surfing Reserves for generations to come.
“Together we will start a conversation about what legislation will look like, citing other Australian and international case studies where successful protections have been put in place, including Bells Beach and in New Zealand.
“An independent discussion paper will then be compiled in time for our second roundtable meeting in July, after which community consultation will begin.
Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates said it made sense to enshrine the protections into law, as the coastal strips are recognised globally for their environmental significance.
“Surfers understand the vital importance of keeping our oceans clean and protecting our environments around it.
“For Queenslanders to remain competitive when it comes to winning Gold, we’ve got to have world class waves to train on.”
“We want to encourage a range of perspectives to best define what legislation will look like, so that it has the right effect in conserving and protecting our truly remarkable surf zones.”
Chairman of the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Andrew McKinnon said the value of the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve to its community was immeasurable.
“Here on the Southern Gold Coast our beaches are part of our way of life.
“They’re important in an environmental, tourism and economic sense but especially to the thousands of surfers, beachgoers and boaties who enjoy them every day,” he said.
"Legislation would preserve, protect and enhance our surfing amenity for everyone."
There are currently 11 World Surfing Reserves on the planet – places deemed globally important for preserving due to outstanding waves, wildlife, coastlines and natural beauty.
For more information, visit www.savethewaves.org
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni