THE organisers of a North Kirra beach rally were delighted when 2500 people turned out on Sunday including surfing royalty.

Originally planned as a paddle out, the Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance (SOSBA) were concerned the pumping swell was too much for participants and so asked them to spell out WSR, meaning "world surfing reserve" in the sand to be seen from the air.

Spokesperson for the alliance and long-time Daily News surfing columnist Andrew McKinnon said world champion surfers Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson attended the rally and backed organisers' calls for a surfing reserve.

"Our new mission is to protect the 38km Gold Coast coastal strip from South Stradbroke to Coolangatta by having it declared as a world surfing reserve," Mr McKinnon said.

"This has been done successfully in Peru, South America, which has been listed as a world surfing reserve and where the Peruvian Government have legislated to protect their surf breaks in October 2013."

"We will formulate a similar policy to take to federal, state and local governments to adopt and protect the beach and surfing amenity from commercial development on public beachfront land."

Last Thursday, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman rejected plans for a $2 billion ocean terminal at North Kirra.

Gold Coast Ocean Terminal Company responded by saying they would resubmit new plans at the North Kirra site without the ocean terminal for cruise ships, but replace it with a multi-billion dollar integrated tourism resort and casino on the same site.

Mr McKinnon said the alliance and the Save Our Spit group (opposed to the cruise ship broadwater marine park) stand united against plans for a cruise ship/casino on public land at the Southport Spit, which would impact on South Straddie one of the world's best beach breaks on the northern side of the Southport Seaway.

"We hope that in light of our public awareness campaign that the State Government will understand our message and we SOSBA request that the Newman Government reject both the Broadwater and North Kirra proposals and move forward with our plan of a world surfing reserve," Jim Wilson, chairman of SOSBA, said.

Surf champ Joel Parkinson added: "We need to protect our coastline from these type of developments and not find in 10 -15 years that we are fighting all over again."

Aerial view of the 2500 people mapping out WSR - World Surfing Reserve - as part of Sunday January 19, North Kirra rally.
Aerial view of the 2500 people mapping out WSR - World Surfing Reserve - as part of Sunday January 19, North Kirra rally. Simon Swilly Williams


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