I took my brother and step-daughter to the beach yesterday morning. The drive takes about an hour from Brisbane. After weeks of rain, cyclonic weather, and closed beaches, things were finally looking up. The sheer pleasure of a leisurely Sunday morning surf lay ahead. We first knew something was wrong when we noticed spare parks in the beach-side car park. The beach was closed! In fact, most of our beach was gone, washed away by all the wild weather. Behind the bunting and warning signs lay a sharp drop to a swirling, powerful surf.
What was irritating in all this was the fact that nowhere in the media was there a mention that beaches were closed. Before setting off just after 8 a.m., I’d even checked the Gold Coast Bulletin on-line. Not a single mention of this important fact. There was a brief quote from Mayor Tom Tate to say that the beaches would be back to “normal” in time for Easter but nothing to say that beaches were CLOSED today. The Sunday Mail was even more misleading as it actually featured a picture of a Dutch tourist on a Gold Coast beach [stretched out on his beach towel] with a map of the coast superimposed behind him showing Surfers Paradise, giving the distinct impression beaches were open again. Again, I couldn’t find the words “beach closed” in this article.
Is there a “Jaws”-like conspiracy out there? That is, not wanting to tell it how it really is and jeopardize the precious tourist trade? While we still had a good morning, the sea walk out to the Spit is superb as is the shopping at nearby Marina Mirage, they are no substitute for a surf. All we want is a little bit of up-to-date information and honesty. Even a Tweet would do the trick.
In the meantime, if anyone can give me the name of a web site with accurate beach information, I’d be very grateful. Don’t phone the surf club -you’ll only get an answering machine! I’ve tried that too in the past.