A $2 billion construction project has been proposed and designed for the Gold Coast that would have deadly implications for some of the world’s best waves. The project, headed by Bob Ell’s Leda Group, would erect a giant seaport that juts into the water next to Kirra Beach. This would effectively kill the legendary surf break.
The seaport would consist of a cruise ship terminal, casino, resort, superyacht facilities, shops and apartments. It would also halt the ocean’s natural flow of sand down the Gold Coast and affect the entirety of the region’s world-class surf, namely one of the world’s best waves: Kirra.
Gold Coast natives Joel Parkinson and 2013 World Champ, Mick Fanning, have spoken out about the project. Mick stated, via his Instagram, his three main points of contention against the seaport: “1. Ruining our beaches by stopping natural sand flow to the northern Gold Coast that is already eroding. 2. Pollution from the ships will be ridiculous and effect [sic] wildlife especially around whale migration season. 3. Ruining the world class waves we have that also generate millions of dollars in revenue for local businesses.” Parko told the Gold Coast Bulletin, “This would be the fatal blow to Kirra.”
What’s unclear is the priority placed on the revenue generated by tourists who come to the Gold Coast to surf. If sacrificing the Gold Coast’s tourism dollars for cruise ship dollars is worth it to the decision makers in charge of this project, the Kirra of old may never see the light of day again. And what a sad surf world this would be without the Gold Coast’s gems.