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