Fight to keep Byron special
MANY local surfers have been following the drama surrounding Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and his support for a proposed cruise ship terminal.
The whole situation would actually be funny if it wasn't so sad. The idea is to build a cruise ship terminal at either Tugun or the Broadwater spit.
This development idea beggars belief. The Tugun option seems to just conveniently ignore the erosion and damage done by seawalls, let alone a massive cruise ship terminal with walls of a size and scale we've never seen before.
The Broadwater proposal ignores the costs of main- tenance dredging.
There is also talk of building it at Kirra, as if the damage already done to Kirra from sand replenishment and the extended seawall is not bad enough.
Any surfer worth their salt could easily imagine the issues with this devel- opment. Yet those supporting it seem to think that we're all a bit weird asking some obvious and simple questions.
What about the environmental impact, the erosion and the impact on the waves? What about the very asset that made this region what it is: the beaches and the quality of surf? What happens when a category five cyclone tracks down the coast, which is long overdue.
It's been a long time since a big storm came down into our latitudes. Long enough for people to forget what they can do.
Many of us may just shake our heads and say, "Well, yeah, that's the Gold Coast for you". But if it goes ahead it could affect us, too, in less-direct ways.
There will be more sand issues, as undoubtedly there will be pumping or dredging depending on where it is built.
The crowds could get worse, as breaks up there might well be destroyed. Plus, when all is said and done, stupidity is usually contagious.
Don't forget it wasn't too many years ago that a group of developers was toying with the idea of building a massive marina at The Pass in Byron Bay.
So, if you're a surfer, a boatie, a fisho or just someone who loves our beaches, keep up to date on what's going on development-wise on our coastlines.
Have your say wherever you can, and be heard, because the developers rarely care about our beloved beaches.
You can find out more about this at saveourspit.com or at surfinglife.com.au/news/asl-news/7051-cruise-ship-terminal-plans-could-ruin-famed-gold-coast-surf.
Remember to have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.
Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSIA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor of inbyronbaytoday.com.