Bring Back Kirra

Each year on the 26th of January, Aussies celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the first shiploads of murderers, thieves and crooks to the Australian continent way back in 1788. It's called Australia Day and the celebrations resemble a sort of bastard-child hybrid of Thanksgiving and Independence Day festivities – lots of shrimp and other assorted dead animals on the barbie (BBQ), mind-numbing amounts of cold beer, and more good times with your mates than you can shake a (shred) stick at. Just the sort of shindig you'd expect from a nation founded by convicts.

But on the Gold Coast this year, Australia Day also adopted an air of political activism. The Surfrider Foundation, in conjunction with the Kirra Surfriders Club and Kirra Surf Life Saving Club (lifeguards), organised the Australia Day Paddle Out at Kirra – a mass paddle-out of over 1500 ocean-goers (along with another 1500 spectators that stayed on the beach) who formed a floating map of Australia with the aim of bringing about more awareness of the ongoing fight to return Kirra to its former glory.

It's ironic that the sand pumping operations that created the global attraction of crazy-good banks at the Superbank and have been praised as injecting untold millions into the local economy, have also managed to rob the Gold Coast of its previous claim to fame – the super-sucky, super-perfect Kirra Point. Back in the day, on the hint of a cyclone or solid swell brewing, it was not unusual to have surfers from as far away as Sydney (about 1000 km away) flocking to the Goldie by plane, train or automobile on the off chance of scoring a Kirra swell and its fabled 20 second tubes. It's a different story these days though: huge sand build-ups along Kirra beach and sub-par banks and minimal cyclone activity have made epic days at Kirra as rare as hen's teeth. With the NSW and QLD state governments both committed to a 25 year sand-pumping contract, the prospects of Kirra a natural resolution to the problem (without the intervention of Government bodies) is slim-to-none.

It's in the interest of enlightening the respective state governments, and ideally returning Kirra to the world class point that it used to be (and some equally as worthy marine ecology reasons), that various Australian politicians and Surfrder foundation scientists, along with Gold Coast alumni Mick Fanning, Occy, Parko, Steph Gilmore, Louie Egan, Bede Durbidge, Kerrzy and local legends MP, {{{Rabbit}}} Bartholomew and Wayne Deane all took part in the Australia Day Paddle Out at Kirra.Event organizer Andrew McKinnon said the response had been overwhelming and hoped it would send a clear message to the government to act quickly and rebuild Kirra. Let's hope the activists can mirror the successes of the Save Trestles movement, and that the paddle out has lit a fire under the ass of enough people to make the decision makers take notice and listen to another side of the argument.