Bid for new Tweed surfing reserve
AN INFLUENTIAL group is mounting a case for a key stretch of Tweed coastline to get recognition as a national surfing reserve.
Popular breaks from Cabarita Beach/Bogangar to Hastings Point would join a list of 20 Australian surfing reserves, should the bid prove successful.
The move has local support, including from Cabarita Boardriders founder and newly-retired president Scott "Chicka” King, who said the ocean and coastline had always been important to the area and its people, dating back to the indigenous Australians who called it home.
"It's about it being respected and looking after its breaks, its wave quality and its coastal beauty,” he said.
"There's not many places like this, not in this area, so while we won't ever be able to stop people coming here, we can help educate the people who do come here to understand that we love this area.”
Dr Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, a Cabarita Beach local and Griffith University coastal researcher, will chair a committee set up to pursue the project.
She said the reserve could become a symbol for the community that would let others know its story and values.
"It would say this is what we're about, this is what we do... in our local area, it's what we think is important, these are our local community passions of note,” she said.
National Surfing reserves are set up to preserve "outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments”.
Once a reserve has been recognised, a council is formed, which then works to create a plan to protect the area's long-term interests.
Brad Farmer, a Tweed Coast resident and founder and patron of surfing reserves, welcomed the nomination on behalf of the board of National Surfing Reserves and said it was a worthy candidate.
He said surfing reserve status would provide national recognition of the environmental, sporting, cultural and heritage values of the area.
The steering committee plans to meet local community groups and host a public meeting to discuss the proposal in coming months.