Kirra in the '90s, before it became submerged under sand pumped from the nearby Tweed River. Photo courtesy Bringbackkirra.org
The Campaign to Bring Back Kirra Point has received a huge boost with the announcement from the ALP Candidate for Currumbin Michael Riordan, that NSW Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly has agreed to travel to Kirra for a meeting with the KirraPoint.org Committee (KPC), at the Kirra Surf Life Saving Club on Friday, 6th March, at 2.30pm to discuss the sand pumping operation and its impact on Kirra. On the other side of the political fence, Queensland State Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, is meeting with KPC at the Kirra Surf Life Saving Club today (Friday 27th February), at midday together with the LNP State Member of Currumbin, Jann Stuckey.
Mr Springborg is expected to make a statement about the Kirra situation at today's meeting.
Meanwhile the Queensland State Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Andrew McNamara, wants to see a plan of action to restore the coastal amenity of Kirra after a meeting held last week in Brisbane with Michael Riordan and the KPC. The Queensland Government Minister has committed to releasing a statement next week to recommend immediate action.
The loss of Kirra's iconic point break, destruction of reefs, and a devastated beach was caused by an oversupply of sand pumped over the last seven years by the Queensland and New South Wales State Government Contract to supply sand from the Tweed River to the Southern Gold Coast. 10 million cubic metres of sand has been pumped since 2001 but only 1/8 has moved north with the majority overtaking Coolangatta and more so at Kirra Beach.
"The response from Government has been fantastic and to have both of sides of politics looking for a solution is very encouraging. The Tweed Sand By-pass operation is a joint agreement between the NSW and QLD State Governments and now we have both governments and the QLD Opposition keen to talk about a coastal management course of action," said the Chairman of the KPC, Marine Biologist, Neil Lazarow. No doubt the current political heat with a QLD State election to be held in March has stirred the pot and the major stakeholders are prepared to sit down and solve the problem – the Bring Back Kirra Campaign has a real chance.
The Australia Day paddle out drew huge attention to the issue. Photo courtesy Surfrider Australia
On Australia Day up to 5000 people rallied for the Kirra cause and more the 1500 paddled out to form the map of Australia. When asked how he felt about Kirra and how it compared to Snapper Rocks, 2007 World Champion from Kirra, Mick Fanning, said "I’d rather have 6ft Kirra Point any day compared to Snapper", he was quoted at the Quiksilver Pro Press Launch 2009, held yesterday at Snapper Rocks, 26th February.
The KPC seeks to include the entire Gold Coast as part of the coastal regional management and would not like to see a repeat of Kirra at either Currumbin Alley or Burleigh Point.
Coastal expert, Neil Lazarow said, “The primary goal of the KPC is to ensure that coastal protection is achieved in harmony with the natural environment and recreational amenity. The KPC understands that beaches are the lifeblood of the Gold Coast and that an active management approach is required to maintain our beaches."
“We don’t want our problem to become a problem at Currumbin or Burleigh. This is why we asked the Government to not only review the legislation but to fund a program of research and infrastructure development to ensure that we manage our beaches for the whole community.”
“For example, we’ve asked the government to investigate ways to better manage Currumbin and Palm Beach. We’ve also asked them to fund the construction of a permanent dredging and bypass system from Tallebudgera Creek to Burleigh Heads.”
“The Gold Coast beaches are exposed to a high wave energy environment and in the past we have witnessed the destructive effort of major storms. We need to actively manage our beaches so that they protect the billions of dollars worth of public and private coastal real estate, but also provide the best possible recreational amenity for both the community and visitors to this region.”
The Kirra momentum does not stop here with a number of local fundraisers to be held in the first two weeks of March. The Gold Coast/Tweed Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is hosting a movie night at the Bread N Butter upstairs lounge at Kirra from 7pm on Wednesday, 4th March. The following Wednesday (11th March), at the Cafe Le Monde at Kirra Surf, KPC will host a Shifting Sands Symposium night with a three course dinner, live music from Dave Murray who has written a song "Bring Back Kirra" together with auctions and raffles. At a $100 each, this promises to be a big night for all concerned with high profile guest speakers, celebrity Lawyer/Screenwriter/Novelist Chris Nyst, International ASP President Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew AM, and KPC Chairman Neil Lazarow.