House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Statements by Members

Dobell Electorate: Norah Head National Surfing Reserve

1:30 pm

Photo of Emma McBrideEmma McBride (Dobell, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health) Share this | | Hansard source

It might be a cold, rainy winter's day in Canberra, but the surf conditions on the coast are a clean two to three foot with a south-easterly swell, and the water temperature a comfortable 20 degrees. Why am I giving you a local surfing report today? Because I'm pleased to get behind the Norah Head National Surfing Reserve. The Central Coast of New South Wales is home to more than 40 beaches, stretching along almost 90 kilometres of stunning coastline. I can still remember how alive I felt going for morning surfs at Soldiers Beach before school with my dad and my brothers, with the sun slowly rising, cool sand under our feet and crashing waves around us. We'd jump on our boards and plunge headfirst into the surf. This unique ribbon of coastline includes nine beach breaks, three bomboras and two reef breaks. It has nurtured state and national champions on both short and long boards and it's home to women's surfing pioneer and 14-time Australian champion Sandra English. So I'm delighted to join the Norah Head Surfing Fraternity, Soldiers Beach Surf Life Saving Club, the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve and locals in their efforts to recognise this iconic surf break as the coast's first national surfing reserve. My special thanks to Debbie McGuigan and Jill Secomb for their hard work and dedication to this effort on behalf of all of our community. In the words of Debbie's late husband, Barry 'Magoo' McGuigan, who returned to competitive surfing at age 58:

I can sum it up in a few words: ever-changing, pleasant, addictive and exciting. It's pleasant when there's a small wave and you can try your moves. It's exciting when it's big and you've got to survive.