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Some of the biggest names in surfing turned out for the largest and most unusual rally the Gold Coast suburb of Kirra has seen, since the days when it used to dish out perfect waves.

In total, 1500 paddlers carved out the map of Australia in the waves at the Gold Coast yesterday, as part of a community rally to raise awareness about the issue of pumping sand at Kirra Point – a popular Gold Coast surf spot.

The rally was held in an effort to bring the issue to the attention of the highest levels of State Government, namely the New South Wales and Queensland State Governments, who jointly manage the Tweed Sand By-Pass operation together with Gold Coast City Council and Tweed Shire Council.

Locals are calling on all levels of government to renegotiate a 25 year contract of pumping sand. The community is calling on action for the restoration of Kirra Point - considered to be one of the greatest sand bottom point breaks in the world.

After 8 years of pumping and 10 million cubic metres of sand for Gold Coast beaches, only one-eighth of the sand moves north. The rest has lodged itself at Coolangatta, even more, at Kirra Beach.

Surfing Australia Spokesperson, Andrew McKinnon, said the sand by-pass operation began in 2001.

“It’s been successful in the sense that it’s created the super bank at Snapper Rocks, but it has also wiped out Kirra and hasn't performed since the massive supply of sand to the southern end of the gold coast, so the beach now resembles the Sahara Desert and has turned off beach goers.”

He said the area’s outside reefs have been covered over and the point break is non-existent.

“2002 was the last year that Kirra Point was able to host a pro-surfing event, so the campaign for restoring Kirra to all its glory will continue, thanks to the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation to make recommendations and offer solutions to bring Kirra back.”

Also there was 2007 World Champion, Mick Fanning: a life member of the Kirra Surfriders Club. He spoke about his earlier formulative years competing and free surfing at Kirra Point with his Coolangatta mates, Dean Morrison and Joel Parkinson.

Yesterday’s Australia Day rally was organised by the Kirra Surfriders Club in conjunction with the Kirra Surf Club and with the backing of the Surfrider Foundation.

Posted: Tuesday January 27, 2009

Published: Jan 27, 2009 3:25pm by philippa.

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  • There is a lot of sand

    I was at Coolangatta last year, and it is a very big beach, but I believe there always was a lot of sand there. They’re pumping the sand around for a reason, right?

    Published Jan 28, 2009 8:38am by Dave

  • Benefiting fishers and boaties, but obviously not good for keen surfers at Kirra

    The project works by blocking large quantities of sand naturally moving northward before it reaches the mouth of the Tweed River. According to the NSW/QLD Governments,the sand gets pumped under the river to the Gold Coast, supposedly “improving navigation into the tweed river entrance while nourishing beaches”.

    Published Jan 28, 2009 12:21pm by philippa

  • Sand nourishment makes no sense

    Pumping sand in the hope that it fixes an “environmental problem” is a bit like throwing missiles to stop war and having sex to preserve virginity!
    Sand nourishment is an energy intensive planet destructive luxury we cannot afford now and will be even less able to afford in the age of true priced energy as fossil fuel decline bites hard.
    Not sure what the long term soultion is but solution by pollution of the atmosphere by dilution of CO2 is not a smart answer….

    Published Jan 28, 2009 2:09pm by gordo

  • playing God

    It doesn’t work to screw with nature’s processes. The fishers should find somewhere else to go fishing! or lower the bar! but buildinga tuneel under teh river to pumps sand through is totally unnatural. cooly and kirra do look like the sahara – total eyesores. it would take many minutes.. maybe 5 mins to walk from the start of the sand to the waves on those beaches.this sand pumping is not on.

    Published Jan 28, 2009 7:21pm by dellmo

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