Sidelined WA surfers issue a legal response.
There has been a further legal development in the dispute over plans to host a WSL event at Jakes Point, Kalbarri on the NW coast of Western Australia.
In what is emerging as a David and Goliath battle, the surfers from Kalbarri and the North West Surfers Alliance, find themselves pitted against the state government (Tourism WA), the Northhampton Shire council, Surfing WA and the WSL, who are all gunning for Kalbarri to replace Margaret River as the location for a West Australian, WCT event.
Faced with such powerful opposition, the surfers from the NWSA are fearful that they are in danger of being omitted from key discussions, which directly affect their future. Initially promised that all meetings relating to the proposed WSL event would be transparent and open to discussion, the NWSA now has reason to believe that they have already been left out of the picture.
“We just wanted to be able to have a say in it. At first it was suggested that we would have a pretty big say in it, but Surfng WA had another meeting and we were excluded from it…” commented the president of the Kalbarri Boardriders and the NWSA, Kit Ryaner. “If it all goes through and you haven’t had a chance to have a say or include your input then it’ll be really bad.”
Demonstrating its commitment to the cause and willingness to use legal means to make itself heard, the NWSA lodged a Freedom of Information request on Monday, demanding the Shire of Northampton deliver the record of any private meetings within 45 days.
According to an article in the Midwest Times yesterday the formal complaint from the NWSA, Kalbarri Boardriders and National Surfing Reserves contained the following statement.
“Information from any meeting between a government-funded body and any senior local government officers, under legislative provisions of the WA Local Government Act, should be made available to the public… We feel this is a violation of the trust that was given in our initial dealings with Surfing WA and now, as major stakeholders of our home surfing break, we feel like we have been excluded from all discussions.”