Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the 2016 Quiksilver Pro in front of a packed Snapper Rocks.
Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the 2016 Quiksilver Pro in front of a packed Snapper Rocks. Liana Turner

Extra services aims to aid Quiksilver Pro parking pain

IN a landmark year for the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, more buses will operate to and from the event in an effort to minimise congestion and pain for motorists trying to find a park around Snapper Rocks.

Parking issues have blighted past events and Gold Coast councillor and acting mayor Donna Gates said the city was aware of the problem. Extra bus services will operate to and from the event from southern Gold Coast, as well as to and from Byron Bay for the first time to help alleviate congestion.

"There are buses coming from Byron Bay (for the first time) and southern Gold Coast to bring people to the event,” Cr Gates said.

"Other than that, it's just going to be get here early, get a park and do the best you can.”

Gold Coast City's light rail network will ease traffic congestion in the future when stage three - which will connect to Coolangatta - is completed, but works aren't expected to begin until after the Commonwealth Games in April, 2018.

"I'm actually going to Canberra next week to fight for funding from the Federal Government to achieve that because we recognise there is an issue, and this (Quiksilver Pro) highlights that,” Cr Gates said.

"We would like as many people as possible to have the opportunity to be part of this event.”

Six time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and member for Tweed Geoff Provest joined Juraki surfers at Snapper Rocks on Monday.
Six time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and member for Tweed Geoff Provest joined Juraki surfers at Snapper Rocks on Monday. Contributed

Queensland Sport Minister Kate Jones joined professional surfers including Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, 2016 world champions Tyler Wright and John John Florence at the official Quiksilver and Roxy Pro launch on Monday in Coolangatta.

The event, which begins today, pumps an estimated $20 million into the economy in the first two months of the year, with more than 25,000 visitors flooding the region for the event annually.

For the first time in 2017, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro will be streamed live on Facebook, which Ms Jones said would only add to visitor numbers going forward.

"This event goes from strength-to-strength and we expect larger crowds than ever before,” Ms Jones said.

"This is such an important event, not only to continue to grow the talent of surfers here on the Gold Coast but it's invaluable this major event delivers for the southern Gold Coast.”

The World Surf League (WSL) announced earlier in the year that Tourism Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast had extended their partnership with the Roxy Pro and Quiksilver Pro into 2018.



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