Illawarra Surfers Fighting For Their Local Break

As reported by Michelle Webster for Illawarra Mercury.

A group of passionate Illawarra surfers have embarked on a determined campaign to save their favorite surf break.

They are outraged by plans to erect security gates outside Port Kembla Sewage Treatment Plant, which would restrict public access to “Oilies” beach.

The breakers are a popular hideaway for experienced surfers.

One of the campaign organizers, Brendan Leo, said the gates would hamper access to the covert location, which he said was utilised by a cross-section of the community.

The changes would now mean a 1km walk to the beach area.

“It’s not just the surfers involved – there are fishermen, walkers, cyclists, photographers. Many people from the community will be affected,” Mr Leo said.

“It’s the most accessible piece of foreshore in Australia – at the moment you can basically drive right up to it.

“What that means for the elderly fishermen is they don’t have to walk a couple of kilometers to cast a line,” he added.

Mr Leo said that once the gate was installed, the Oilies breakers would only be accessible by walking via Wollongong Golf Course. He felt that an agreement for continuing access from Port Kembla Rd would be more practical.

“I really do feel that the broader community will be missing out if access is cut,” he said.

For the full story head to Illawarra Mercury.