HELPING HAND: Simon Williams and Bede Durbidge launch the Swilly collection at the Strand Shopping Centre, Coolangatta.
HELPING HAND: Simon Williams and Bede Durbidge launch the Swilly collection at the Strand Shopping Centre, Coolangatta. Scott Powick

Grand plan launched for coast’s surfing future

THE Gold Coast City Council released a Surf Management Plan (SMP) to recognise the importance of surf breaks to the local community at Surf World, Currumbin, on Friday.

Seventy guests were on hand for the launch, compiled by members of city, state and government agencies, research bodies, surfing organisations, board riders’ clubs and coastal scientists over a 12-month period.

The plan is a study of the surfing breaks from Snapper Rocks to South Stradbroke Island, detailing the handling of overcrowding, environmental concerns and recommendations and the proposition of wave pools to create more surfing options.

The plan comes as the area from Burleigh Point to Snapper Rocks was recently added as the eighth WSR (World Surfing Reserve) location and will be backed by the SMP and managed by a Local Stewardship Committee (LSC).

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he was looking forward to working with beachgoers to implementing the SMP.

“We want to ensure everyone can enjoy our city’s prized natural attraction,” Cr Tate said.

“This is a celebration of our city’s Surf Management Plan and the soon-to-be World Surfing Reserve status.”

To assist WSR funding, well-known surf photographer Simon “Swilly” Williams produced 10 surfing prints for auction to raise funds for the WSR.

WSR chairman Andrew McKinnon, at the launch in Coolangatta on Thursday, said support was crucial to securing WSR status and management.

“We’ve done it all on the smell of an oily rag and we’ve worked hard to raise the funds,” Mr McKinnon said.

The SMP acknowledges the rich surf history of the region, while producing a range of strategies to maintain and protect its surf amenities.

The first LSC meeting was held today on top of Kirra Hill and there will be a dedication ceremony on March 8 at Point Danger to officially launch the WSR.