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23.01.06 - Surfrider Foundation says All Hands on Deck for the 5th of February “Mutiny on the Broadwater”

Rally Against The Cruise Ship Terminal

Surfrider Foundation General Manager Stuart Ball is calling on all Gold Coast surfers and beach enthusiasts to attend the No Cruise Ship Terminal Rally at the Spit on Sunday the 5th of February, a day he predicts will be “a highlight in Gold Coast surfing history”.

“The Gold Coast has been at the centre of the evolution of surfing in Australia,” says Mr Ball, “and this rally will showcase a modern trend of surfers defending their waves against destructive coastal development.”

Surfrider Foundation holds grave fears that the cruise ship terminal will have severe negative impacts on the surfing environment, particularly wave quality, as well as restricting the rights of surfers to access the prime waves of South Stradbroke Island.

“Straddy is an incredibly consistent and high quality resource for surfers, and is one of the key breaks supporting the Gold Coast surfing industry and surfing community. There is little doubt that the dredging associated with the cruise ship terminal will affect the sandbanks that make this wave work, and it is highly likely that this impact will be negative for waves and the local coastal environment.” said Mr Ball.

“It is even more certain that the proposed security exclusion zones associated with the ship docks, and seaway traffic bans imposed during berthing, will affect surfers as they attempt to access Straddy.”

“Construction of the cruise ship terminal wharf, buildings, car parks and fuel depots is completely inappropriate for this unique coastal site. Not only is this area public open space, it’s on the very doorstep of Moreton Bay Marine Park, an incredibly sensitive fish nursery habitat.” said Mr Ball.

Surfrider Foundation has raised its concerns regarding the proposed terminal through submissions to the Queensland Government, and has met with senior personnel managing the environmental impact assessment process. So far, Mr Ball has not been impressed with the Governments response. “The Government seems unable to prove the terminal has any real economic benefit, but continues to promote it against the very clear wishes of a huge number of Gold Coast residents and visitors,” said Ball.

“This isn’t only about ‘Green Issues’; for surfers, it’s also a ‘Green Room Issue’. Surfing is a cultural activity that defines the Gold Coast and Australia at large, however surfers are learning that we have to stand up for ourselves because Governments just don’t understand how rare and valuable high quality surf spots are.”

“It’s critical for all surfers to attend the rally at noon on Sunday February 5 to protest against the cruise ship terminal. It will be a day all Gold Coast surfers will remember proudly, but it’s also very serious, because if we can’t protect Straddy, which wave will we be fighting for next?”

Media inquiries:
Stuart Ball 0424 352 792