Unanimous support for World's Best Surfers to compete in Shire
Council has unanimously approved the World Surf League’s application to hold the Margaret River Pro in the Shire for the next five years has been (2024-2028 inclusive).
The Margaret River Pro is one of only two Australian events on the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) World Championship Tour which sees the world’s top professional surfers travel to Margaret River to compete.
The Council decision means the WSL can utilise Surfers Point for up to 31 days, inclusive of am 11-day competition window at ‘Main Break’ and ‘The Box’. Provision has also been made to allow the use of ‘North Point’ in Gracetown as an alternate location, for up to 2 days competition.
In making the decision, Council considered 141 submissions made through the Shire’s public consultation process as well as the success of the event over the past 39 years and its community and economic benefits. It was also noted the WSL had worked with Shire staff to respond to concerns raised via public consultation and had considered how the event site is activated, prioritising procurement from local businesses and support of local community groups and conservation efforts.
The WSL have agreed to make several improvements to the event set-up process which will maximise the amount of public parking available and maintain access to Surfers Point. Local surfers will be able to surf main break everyday except when the competition is running. Should the set-up need to occur over easter, work will be paused and the carparks to be reopened over the busy long weekend.
In line with previous years, provision has been made for a licensed area which will helps local police manage spectator drinking on site.
The WSL also clarified that North Point would only be used as a back-up location if conditions meant the Pro could not run at Main Break or The Box. Additional sign-off from the Shire will be required before the event can go ahead in Gracetown.
The benefits of the Margaret River Pro for the local community go beyond the $8.9 million generated in regional expenditure. It inspires young people within the community and through a range community initiatives allows local rising surf stars are able paddle out with their heroes, or work alongside the athletes in local conservation projects. The event also provided a unique opportunity to showcase the region to the world
A variety of local stakeholders and community groups welcomed the decision.