Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve in pursuit of legal protection

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Global Wave Conference Brings Important Policy Change to Queensland

The 6th Global Wave Conference, hosted by the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve along with Save The Waves Coalition and Surfrider Foundation from February 10th-14th, has cemented the city’s reputation as the heart and capital of surfing and conservation in Australia.

The conference – an international ocean conservation event – made its Australian debut last week at Southern Cross University, and served as the wider surfing community to step up and join the global fight to protect our oceans.

Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew, Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve patron and former World Champion Surfer, said the 2020 conference called upon surfers to be more proactive about ocean conservation.

However, the biggest news came when Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that her Government would pursue legislation to protect the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve from Burleigh Beach to Snapper Rocks. Her announcement came on Tuesday, February 11th – just before the opening of the 6th Global Wave Conference at the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross University.

The Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve will work with the City of Gold Coast Council and Queensland State Government to secure protection. Before legislation is enacted by the State Government, it will need to go through a community consultation process. The Qld State Government Minister of Sport Mick de Brenni will invite stakeholders to a meeting in March to create a process to formulate policy ie a legislation proposal to protect to be presented to the Qld State Government Parliament.

The 16km stretch of Coast from Burleigh to Point Danger was officially declared the 8th World Surfing Reserve in March 2016.

“What I’ve been hearing from people is that they would like a bit more security around the reserve and my government is now going to actively look at legislating the surf reserve here in Queensland,” the Premier said. “I don’t want to see it disturbed in 20, 30, 40 or 50 years’ time. I want to make sure that this area of the Coast is absolutely protected as a surf reserve.”

The Premier’s announcement came as hundreds of surfers, conservationists and scientists wrapped up the SCU’s Gold Coast campus for the Global Wave Conference.

The news also coincides with the 10th World Surfing Reserve dedication in Noosa on Friday, February 21st, a public ceremony taking place at the national park. 

A recurring question has been asked by many: Will the Premiere extend legal protection to both World Surfing Reserves in Queensland?

Learn more about the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve with link below.