Friday, October 5, 2007

Who cares about surfing?

Hi Chad,

Stoked that you've set this blog up. I look forward to chewing the fat on a few big questions. Let me start with one. Something that bothers me a bit is the 'so what' question. What will we be able to do once we have the info that tells us surfing and the surfing lifestyle is worth heaps to a particular town or region?

For example, everyone knew that Kirra was the best surfbreak in Oz, yet it didn't stop the government dumping millions of cubic metres of sand on the break to the point that it hasn't broken in over 10 years. The act of parliament that governed the project to bring sand across the border even stipulated that recreational amenity was a key priority. Even when they knew that the break was being destroyed it was ok to trade of Kirra for something else.

So what will we do with the information we collect? Will politicians and bureaucrats listen to us because we can now demonstrate that we are significant economic stakeholders in the coastal economy? Will dollars alone save surfbreaks or do we need something more than that?