FROM - Southbridge Boardriders
Last night someone stole the Killalea National Surfing Reserve plaque from the car park at "The Farm". The iconic plaque, which will cost $1000 to replace, represents years of voluntary work by dedicated local surfers to preserve this unique beach. It's theft will do NOTHING for the cause to STOP the introduction of a $10 gate fee. 24hr security cameras are to be checked but at this stage we want the PLAQUE not the culprits! If you have info contact us via facebook or our website or Lake Illawarra Police.
Some background if you aren't familiar with what's happening,
((Also taken from South Bridge))
WHERE ON THIS PLAQUE DOES IT SAY $10 A GO?
The notion of the introduction of an entry fee has yet again raised it's ugly head. The LATEST battle in an OLD conflict.
It should be remembered that it was the wish of The Farm's last owners to turn the property over to the people of the Illawarra and it is the consequent management of the area that has created the theory that an entry fee is required.
As we all know some disastrous decisions were made early in the history of Killalea . Dubious management,poorly designed carparks that inspired theft and poorly located amenities, due principally to the lack of consultation with the area's principal user groups ( surfers, recreational fishers and divers).
There is NO argument regarding the current day to day management of the area we now know as KILLALEA State Park. They do an excellent job.
The fee is a separate issue that has been put foreward by Killalea's governing body the Killalea Management Trust.
When the idea is raised we seem to break into two schools of thought, FOR and AGAINST. Those AGAINST naturally wish to retain the status quo and can offer a raft of options to fund the Park's infrastructure such as environmentally sound expansion of the current camping grounds. Those in the FOR camp site among other things that the introduction of a fee will reduce the crowds in the water. To those who think this way I would like to offer what I think is a valid comparison , Kosciusczko National Park. Like KILLALEA, KNP is a unique multi-purpose recreational area. It has a hefty entry fee as well as the highest ski pass prices on the planet and yet the crowds there are MASSIVE.
A $10 entry fee is excessive and it will disable many from using the place. Remember that The Farm is now within a residential area and to many it is the local beach! Could you imagine the level of traffic and parking congestion in the surrounding streets if surfers and others decided to park and walk in the event of the introduction of a gate fee ? The resulting congestion would be disasterous!
From time to time positions on the trust become vacant and are open to nomination by interested individuals. One of these RARE vacancies is about to occur and on Wednesday July 6 there is to be a meeting at The Links that will call for expressions of interest from the community to fill this vacancy. Any interested individuals are urged to attend. The SURFING COMMUNITY NEEDS to have a voice on the TRUST to ensure the future of Killalea and to help make sure that this new proposal for a fee goes the same way as all the others!
A lot of time and effort was put into having The Farm and Mystics declared National Surfing Reserves for the benefit of ALL surfers not to make our cherished breaks the financial lure of a misguided funding option by a shortsighted Governing Body.