Dedicated and celebrated in 2009, Killalea National Surfing Reserve is part of the sprawling coastal landscape within Killalea State Park at Shellharbour south of Sydney.
Better known to surfers and locals as The Farm, this much-loved historic spot with high conservation, social and biodiversity value has come under increasing focus in 2021 as the Crown Land Managers (Reflections) seek to extend the development footprint, which according to locals, is not on, by any means.
On a picture-perfect low swell autumn Saturday, May 1, a truly amazing gathering happened. 782 of us surfers, paddled out into the blue to protest the proposed inappropriate development; and in doing so created a Guinness World record for the ‘largest paddle out in history’ previously held by Surfrider California. Such was the power of the people protest and the ensuing media that that Reflections were criticised in NSW state parliament for “lousy” consultation with stakeholders.
National Surfing Reserves supported the initiative and ongoing ministerial lobbying to protect The Farm which has been vigorously led by our local NSR Chair and local legend, Chris Homer.
Our Patron Brad Farmer also attended the protest, driving down from the Gold Coast speaking to about 2,000 represented coastal lovers who had assembled en masse to demonstrate against the extension of any further development – that included a commercial Function Centre on this legislated, publicly owned land. Both state MP’s for the area (ALP A. Watson & LIB G. Ward) along with three state Cabinet Ministers (Stokes, Pavey and Kean) were approached in a strategic advocacy campaign to highlight the need to strictly preserve the surf breaks of The Farm, Mystics and the surrounding swell rich region. This was the official declaration in good faith and publicly transparent undertaking by the NSW state government when gazetted by Minister Kelly back in 2009 for Killalea National Surfing Reserve under the then solid, state Crown Lands Act (1989).
Watch this space for an update as we continue to campaign to either stop the development plans or to see the Reserve handed over to new management as we have supported, most likely for NSW National Parks to protect in perpetuity this priceless state asset for emerging generations, Dharawal and Yuin nations most respectfully acknowledged.