Paddle-out to save Killalea surfing reserve at The Farm may break world record

Nick McLaren
Swellnet Dispatch

South Coast surfers turned out in large numbers to have their say on proposed new coastal development for The Farm (Photo: Warren Keelan)

Almost 700 surfers paddled out at The Farm in Killalea, on the NSW South Coast, on the weekend to protest the proposed expansion of a holiday park.

The state-owned Reflections Holiday Park is aiming to upgrade its facilities with 15 luxury eco-cabins, a new convention centre and a possible new road entry to the park, which would encroach on the national surfing reserve.

Organisers of the 682-strong paddle-out have registered the event with Guinness World Records, claiming they have broken the previous record of 511 set in California in 2017.

Killalea National Surfing Reserve Committee chair Chris Homer said he was among larger numbers paddled out for the Fight for the Bight events around the country, but they were not registered for a world record.

He said he was in the process of getting the Killalea event officially recognised.

"It will be registered with the Guinness World Records before being made official," Mr Homer said.

Mr Homer is no stranger to paddle-our protests, having participated in the bid to shut down oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight (Photo: Save Killalea)

'Heartbreaking' Reflections

Resident Shane Roberts-Smithers described the plans for the development as "heartbreaking".

"A lot of us grew up surfing here as young kids," he said.

"To see it spoiled and have development here, that's not fair to the locals."

Illawarra Aboriginal elder Aunty Lindy Lawler said the land held special significance for the Dharawal people of the Yuin Nation.

"For me this is Aboriginal land," she said.

"It's very special for Indigenous people, especially with the land, the surf, the water, and with our native bushes that are out here."

The sheer number of protesters spoke to the popularity of the Farm (Photo: Warren Keelan)

Reflections Holiday Parks postponed its community drop-in information session, which was scheduled for the same day.

"We thank the community for their valuable and constructive feedback they have shared with us this week and we will take this away and consider the most appropriate way forward," acting chief executive Cameron Tynan said in a statement.

//Nick McLaren
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 6:18am

Not sure why everyone is getting upset. They’re Eco cabins after all.

Sure they may be “ luxury “ Eco cabins which is a bit like a Jumbo shrimp, but I’m sure the thousands of locals can imagine how nice it’d be for the 15 tourist families to be able to rent out those cabins. Even if they do destroy the remaining vibe of the place.

There’s also other benefits from the development - next time the locals want to protest they can do it in the comfort of the convention centre instead of outside in the gaudy, flashiness of nature.

Best of luck to the locals trying to halt the unmandated destructive irrationality of their own elected representatives.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 7:17am

Blowin, whilst I ascribe to anarcho-syndicalism, as one of many transitional social acts of the collective us getting empowered, I too agree with the notion of community representatives flooding the floors of every elected position at all 3 level of government. Instead of corporations having a monopoly on our elected seats.

But that would require us to participate in democracy. And it would appear the critical mass would rather engage in anything but. Which, is the system working perfectly as intend. ("Go back to your feed everyone, nothing to see here" - kinda thing)

Perhaps the surfing community could support Homer, or Ellis Nicol to run.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 10:03am

Anarchy-syndicalist, that makes two of us Jack. We can meet in a phone booth. :-)

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 9:31am

The more people get on board for positive causes the better. Be it council or the Bob and Shirl's in the street. The more these issues become a focal point for change the less they can be ignored. Be aware of your community, our Australia. Continue to voice your concerns how local areas are managed for the future. Be part of the solution. Push for a healthier Australia socially and environmentally. The more people on board the quicker the acceptance of change.

Stick to the facts, proven science, history, educate, liberate take responsibility for areas you use and remain positive in the good causes of future progression.

Stephen Allen's picture
Stephen Allen's picture
Stephen Allen Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 9:42am

The residential and marina debacle over the ridge to the north was the last straw.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 10:02am

I can remember when the Farm was on a farm!

They won’t stop until they’ve paved paradise, put up a parking lot.

Good luck to protesters, wasn’t aware of this land grab development. It’s nice as it is and a real thigh burner getting back up those steps, leave it as is.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 10:52am

The same Chris Homer that got a few waves in Gripping Stuff? (or perhaps another movie in Blowins drawer from that time)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 11:13am

I recall surf mag shots of a Chris inside a slabby right reef on the South Coast, way back in the day. 

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 11:33am

In 2013 saw Homer get pole driven through his board off the take-off from cowries bombie and ragged dolled the entire length of the reef. it was fuckin heavy.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 12:19pm

Gripping Stuff 1 and 2. The second one he was exploring “remote South Oz”.

Set to “Make it end” by Baby Animals. Great song.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 1:25pm

Thanks for memory.
Great album, first ever CD purchase.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 1:06pm

So ‘National Surfing Reserve’ is just a name then? What’s the point of the calling these places ‘reserves’?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 1:44pm

It’s a useful selling point if you’re trying to shift units of real estate.

Queef Jerky's picture
Queef Jerky's picture
Queef Jerky Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 1:07pm

Just another....
I've paid my window sticker to go check the farm etc..... You all voted for this

YoungOne's picture
YoungOne's picture
YoungOne Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 4:48pm

Certainly, we must do all we can to prevent this kind of thing, for the reasons described by all of you above. What is far more obscene, though - and a very good reminder of why we must act to prevent and control this - is the scourge on the area that is Shellharbour itself! Anyone heading south on the highway and cresting the hill beyond Oak Flats is suddenly confronted by what must surely be the coast's - if not Australia's - biggest eyesores. This is a prime example of unchecked developer greed, lazy community representation, and most probably corruption, all combining in the perfect storm to produce that abysmal, cookie-cut eyesore. Add to that the atrocious marina development which should never have been allowed, and here we are.
The beautiful landscape here has been completely destroyed, and I can only begin to imagine how this hurts Aunty Lindy Lawler and the Dharawal people, who've known the place for thousands of years.
However, it's never too late to recognise what we're losing and to take a stand against it deteriorating further. So, more power to you, you folks who are there vocalising your objection! There wouldn't be too many surfers in the country who'd take the opposite view.
The Farm is simply one of the last bastions of heaven on Earth, and to see it completely lost to the money-grabbers would be heartbreaking. Stand up, hold your elected representatives to account (this is important!), and demand that they represent the community instead of just the privileged few.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 6:44am

Agree. I haven’t seen the marina but the residential shit around Shellharbour ( Shellcove?) is easily the worst coastal development I’ve seen anywhere in Australia. The streets seem to be only 1.5 cars wide! It’d be laughably ugly if it wasn’t so serious.

Kwinana / Rockingham gives it a run for its money but the price tag puts Shellharbour over the line.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 8:09am

What was once Shellharbour makes me weep every time I drive past it ... I’m seeing it now further down the coast at Milton too ... heartbreaking

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders Friday, 7 May 2021 at 9:16am

Campbelltown by the coast!

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova Friday, 7 May 2021 at 9:50am

You obviously haven't been to Catherine Hill Bay / Mooney Beach recently

yvdreh's picture
yvdreh's picture
yvdreh Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 5:24am

Vote them out.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 9:22am

Simple. Only vote for a party/parties/candidates that (actually) support STEM education, a clean economy, land taxes, and the removal of perverse incentives that promote unchecked development (see: +15% oversupply of housing in Australia relative to population).

Our economy is insanely reliant on paving over bushland/good farmland (see Redlands Shire, in SEQ) to build shitbox houses and further promote the private vehicle economy. Votes do matter. Can take a bit for it to sink in to the big two parties exec committee's thick skulls, but it does work. They'll go where the votes because they want to keep those juicy taxpayer funded salaries and perks.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 10:11am

I'm torn. I'm all in favour for renewable energy but here in Japan they're going hell for leather with what I think is little regard for the actual environment. Case in point, yesterday I took a road that I haven't been down in a while. Quite a steep hill with a series of mild switch backs and some nice forest from pretty much top to bottom. Almost overnight the forest has been completely bulldozed bare and a huge farking solar farm put up covering almost the entirety of the hill. It looks awful, there's no other way to put it. The trees are gone, it's just a sea of solar panels. The really sad thing is that there is so much crappy, empty, under-utilised land here, why the hell do they have to raze a forest?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 2:33pm

Rape the timber under the guise of Eco concern. Double dipping cnts.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 5:49pm

Fark, that's a bummer.

Timbox's picture
Timbox's picture
Timbox Friday, 7 May 2021 at 7:12pm

What I find amazing is that for the past 12+ months we have had dozens of blow ins from Sydney and Back packers on the weekends who have made the place packed (They were no where to be seen on the paddle out day!!!) Maybe this give meaning to the phrase Locals Only! Well done to all who paddled out