Header Photo: Crescent Head Surf Co.
‘Pave paradise to Save a Parking Lot’ so read the headlines of the Sydney Morning Herald by journalist Heath Gilmore as the plan by the rural-dominated Kempsey Shire Council (KSC) moved forward as part of ‘modernising’ this wonderfully iconic surfing village on the famed NSW mid coast.
A local and strongly vocal campaign led by leaders of this solid surfing community has galvanised the vast majority of locals (90%) to reject plans by KSC to remove a large slice of the forefront (carpark) fronting the Crescent Head National Surfing Reserve.
Dedicated in 2008, ‘Creso’ remains one of Australia’s most famous right hand point breaks and is deeply entrenched in the national psyche as a sacred gathering place of the surfing tribe for over 50 years. The issue again tests the validity of measures National Surfing Reserve have to preserve much more than just the waves but the intrinsic social value of our high-profile surfing culture, particularly at a place respected and revered by so many.
Brad Farmer visited Kempsey in May to meet with the elusive Minister responsible, Hon Melinda Pavey at her offices to present the case to save the ‘carpark’ as it represented an epicentre of storytelling and sharing by the surfing fraternity.
The team as Creso continue to negotiate with the local government to adjust the planning schedule to ensure no car parks at all are removed, nor any loss of social surfing amenity fronting the break. The strong campaign can be followed on Facebook where you can support this vital initiative which sets a precedent we believe, for any and all surf break in NSW and Australia, where surfers gather in large numbers to share the stoke of surfing with people of all ages and backgrounds. It could be Margs in WA, GC or your surfing home.
As National Surfing Reserves Co-Chairs Naomi Edwards and Chris Tola commented on this “many consultants overlook how communities organise and connect.”
For more about this campaign follow Save Crescent Surfing Reserve