Mid Coast Surfing Reserve Speech

The Mid Coast Surf Reserve along our coast has been recognised nationally. I spoke about this important development in Parliament and thanked those hard working volunteers who helped make this happen.

            Mr PICTON (Kaurna) (15:28:03):  Well, how about that. Here is something outside the cloistered bubble. I am delighted to discuss today in the house that the National Surfing Reserves board has voted unanimously to establish a Mid Coast surfing reserve in Adelaide. The reserve covers the area from Christies Creek to Pedler Creek, covering the suburbs of Christies Beach, Port Noarlunga, Port Noarlunga South, Seaford and Moana, about half the length of the Kaurna electorate.

            Since the 1950s and 1960s, surfers have been coming to this part of our coastline to take advantage of the best surfing available in what is now metropolitan Adelaide but back then was well outside the city. It has long been known as a place where young surfers can learn, with regular surfing schools taking place, but also for aquatics programs—most famously the Port Noarlunga School Aquatics Program, which I am sure many members took part in when they were in primary school—for paddle boarding and for the Disabled Surfers Association (which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary), as well as for spectacular kite surfers, who can often be seen along Port Noarlunga South and Seaford.

            There are some 50 surfing clubs in South Australia, and many of them are based at, or regularly use, the Mid South Coast. Names like Y-Steps, The Hump, Trigs 1 and 2, 3 Poles and the Troughs might not mean much to some people, or even to some locals, but these are the names of significant surfing landmarks on the Mid South Coast and they are well known to an estimated quarter of a million surfers in South Australia.

            The Hon. T.R. Kenyon:  Including the member for Newland.

            Mr PICTON:  Including the member for Newland, who I understand is an active surfer both of the mid-South Coast and elsewhere across South Australia. Many people might ask: what is a surfing reserve? The objectives of the mid coast surfing reserve will focus on, firstly, celebrating surfing heritage and culture, which there is much of in this area; secondly, ensuring a safe aquatic and beach environment; thirdly, protecting the environment, which is very important in this area; and, fourthly, supporting councils' coastal park initiatives.

            I pay tribute to all the hardworking volunteers who have been successful in seeing this bid realised and succeed. Firstly, thank you to the chairperson, Sue Bennett, who comes from SA School Surfing; the vice chairperson, Michael Nieuwendyk; the secretary, Dick Olesinski OAM, who is from Surf Life Saving SA, particularly the South Port Surf Life Saving Club, where he has had a very long involvement; and committee members Chris Warren from Surfing SA (many people would know him as a former Channel 7 reporter); Bill Jamieson, who is a councillor for the City of Onkaparinga and a longtime surfer in this area; Carl Charter, from Reef Watch; Corey Jackson, from the Surfrider Foundation; Chris Lemar, Board Riding Club; and Steve Francis and Rick Dabrow. Also thank you to professional surfer from Seaford, Dion Atkinson—

            The Hon. T.R. Kenyon:  He's a star.

            Mr PICTON:  —who has become a reserve ambassador for this area, and, as the member for Newland said, he is a star.

            The concept of the reserve has received wide support from local community groups, from local residents signing petitions, from local service clubs, from the local Indigenous Kaurna community, and from the local council. I was very pleased to support the bid, and write a letter that formed part of the bid, and to be part of the bid ever since the first public meeting some 18 months ago. I know that the member for Reynell is also very supportive of the bid.

            It is now at the stage where they will be talking to the state government and the City of Onkaparinga about how the reserve will fit in with the management of the coastline. The next steps also include work on ensuring that the reserve works hand in hand with other users of the coastline, whether they be swimmers, fishers, kayakers, walkers, and especially the four surf lifesaving clubs that cover this area—Moana, South Port, Port Noarlunga and Christies Beach.

            One of the first tasks the group is looking at is to establish interpretive signs along the mid-coast to help inform the public and new surfers about the name and history of each of the surfing breaks. I give credit to the committee for their work to help restore the Trig site at Port Noarlunga South that was there for 50 years as a famous surfing marker as well, of course, as a maritime marker, but mysteriously went missing in 2013. It has now been recovered, and it is being restored with support from the local council. The group is also working on an oral history of surfing in the area, and it has been interviewing lots of local surfing identities to make sure that their stories and recollections are preserved for all time.


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