PHIL Arnott of the Surfrider Foundation with Fingal surfer Blake MacDonald and friends, displaying a proposed
PHIL Arnott of the Surfrider Foundation with Fingal surfer Blake MacDonald and friends, displaying a proposed "surf etiquette"

Swell idea, but councils won?t listen

By ED SOUTHORN

THE Surfrider Foundation's carefully considered ideas to help ease surf rage at the overcrowded Snapper Rocks "superbank" have hit a brick wall.

Authorities on both sides of the border have been unwilling to allow proposed surf etiquette signs at Tweed and Gold Coast surf beaches, including the superbank, or to take steps to resurrect Kirra's vanished barrelling tubes.

Surfrider Foundation Tweed/Gold Coast spokesman Phil Arnott yesterday said that neither Gold Coast City nor Tweed Shire had shown interest in the signs, already designed and printed as posters by the international pro-environment surfers' lobby group.

Mr Arnott was commenting after the latest surf rage incident at the superbank.

A Tweed Heads man has been charged with two counts of assault following a fight at Snapper Rocks and is due to appear in Coolangatta Magistrates Court on February 16. Another man was taken by ambulance to Tweed Hospital and treated for a broken nose.

Mr Arnott wants the signs, which include a detailed explanation of the surfers' code for wave sharing, erected near where surfers walk to the water.

He said visiting overseas and beginner surfers in particular would be likely to heed a sign's advice on correct behaviour, which might help minimise surf rage at the superbank created by the Tweed Bar sand bypass pumping system at Letitia Spit.

But he said the best solution to superbank overcrowding was to attract surfers back to Kirra, by altering sand flows from the bypass pumping.

Mr Arnott said the sand bypass management team was now expected to look at Kirra sand flows in response to community concern about too much sand offshore around the Kirra groyne and on the beach.

He said serious consideration should be given to removing the groyne, partly buried by the sand pumping, or restoring it to its original size and shape.

Mr Arnott said the sand bypass project community consultative team was due to meet sand-pumping managers on Wednesday to discuss the disappearance of surf at Kirra.

The Surfrider Foundation yesterday helped co-ordinate a Save-Our-Spit rally on the northern Gold Coast, protesting against a proposed cruise ship terminal which surfers fear could impact on wave quality at South Stradbroke Island and further exacerbate overcrowding at the superbank.



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