Bring Back Kirra

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Bring Back Kirra is a campaign by the Gold Coast surfing community to lobby for the restoration of the surf break at Kirra Point.

In the 1960’s the Tweed River Entrance Training Walls were extended to improve the navigability of the Tweed River entrance for local commercial and recreational boating. As a result the northward sand flow was interrupted and built up on the southern side of the training wall ultimately starving the southern Gold Coast beaches of sand. Progressive beach erosion occurred at Collangatta and Kirra beaches and in response the Queensland Government constructed the Kirra Point Groyne in 1972 to trap sand at Coolangatta Beach. Notwithstanding the government’s efforts to improve the navigability of the Tweed River entrance, the sand bar at the mouth of the river re-established once again creating a navigational hazard.

The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project (TRESBP) was established in 1994 by the Queensland and New South Wales Government with the aim of maintaining a navigable entrance to the Tweed River, and to maintain sand supply to the southern gold coast beaches.  Upon commencement in 2001 large amounts of sand were pumped onto the southern Gold Coast beaches in an attempt to nourish the severely eroded beaches. The current sand supply has been adjusted to more closely reflect natural sand flow rates, however, the first 10 years of operation, and the shortening of the Kirra Point Groyne by 30m in 1996, resulted in Kirra Reef being buried in sand.

The key aims of the Bring Back Kirra campaign led by Kirra Point Inc. (KPI) are for the better management of the TRESBP, and the extension of the Kirra Groyne to its former length. The relationship between the extension of the Kirra Point Groyne and the management of the TRESBP must be carefully managed to ensure surf amenity at this world famous surf break are enhanced.

Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) recently announced plans to extend Kirra groyne by 30 metres to its former length in an attempt to improve surf amenity at the world famous Kirra Point surf break. After more than 15 years of campaigning for the restoration of the buried Kirra reef GCCC have now formally recognised the importance of surfing to the local community and economy.

Despite GCCC announcing the extension of Kirra Point Groyne, they have not mentioned the dynamic relationship between the management of the TRESBP and surf amenity at Kirra Point. Monitoring and evaluation of the extension, and its relationship with the TRESBP is a key factor in successfully reviving and maintaining this famous wave.

Surfrider Foundation advocates the need for the extension of Kirra Point Groyne to be coupled with better management of the TRESBP, and include ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure the extension is not a short term solution to an ongoing problem.

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