Locals fight to make Kirra a formal suburb

COURTNEY THOMAS

Kirra locals are petitioning for the iconic surfing hotspot to become an official suburb in its own right rather than just a part of Coolangatta.

Piers Booth

Local Piers Booth has started a petition to enable Kirra to legally become a separate suburb from Coolangatta. Photo: Courtesy Piers Booth

 

Kirra has not been legally gazetted under the Place Names Act 1994 as a separate suburb, despite having its own identity, being a part of the World Surf Reserve and being home to late surfing legend Michael Peterson.

Principal petitioner and Kirra local Piers Booth said he had only discovered the area was not a separate suburb when he went to change his driver’s licence address and noticed it said “Coolangatta” rather than “Kirra”.

“When I found out Kirra wasn’t legally gazetted, I started to think that we needed to make this right, because Kirra is Kirra,” Mr Booth said.

Mr Booth said the change would bring positive outcomes for locals and visitors, such as making it easier when paying bills, calling taxies and locating Kirra businesses.

“I started the petition approximately four weeks ago, but I have been trying to make this happen for about six months,” he said.

“I think a lot of people want it; they just haven’t done it.”

Kirra

Kirra locals and business owners owners are petitioning for the surfing hotspot to be its own suburb. Photo: Courtney Thomas

 

Mr Booth said he had been struggling to make headway with his petition until he had a chance encounter with the State Member for Currumbin, Laura Gerber.

He said he had taken the opportunity to talk to Ms Gerber about the issue and she had agreed to sponsor the petition.

“I hit a roadblock maybe six weeks ago, but I had a chance meeting with Laura Gerber in a local coffee shop,” he said.

“Laura has really kicked the ball running and given me hope.”

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber and Kirra local Piers Booth

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber (left) and Kirra local Piers Booth hope to give Kirra its own identity by petitioning for it to legally become a suburb. Photo: Courtesy Laura Gerber

 

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber said Kirra should be legally named as a separate suburb because it had its own identity.

“It [Kirra] has its own surf break, which is world renowned, and a thriving business precinct, and to have it gazetted as an official place is really what Kirra needs,” Ms Gerber said.

“I grew up on the Gold Coast, so Kirra has always been in my life since I was a child and I have always known Kirra as Kirra,” she said.

“Every local that I talk to around here, when they are writing their address, write down Kirra.

“The confusion is that if you have a rate notice, officially you have to write it down as Coolangatta.”

Ms Gerber said any Queenslander could sign the petition, not just Kirra locals.

“The more signatures you can accumulate, the better it indicates the community need, desire or community spirit behind it,” she said.

Zephyr Coffee Co. owner Justin Diamandopoulos

Zephyr Coffee Co. owner Justin Diamandopoulos supports the petition to make Kirra a suburb by talking with locals about the positives the change will bring. Photo: Courtney Thomas

 

Owner of Kirra café Zephyr Coffee Co., Justin Diamandopoulos, said making Kirra a suburb would help customers locate his café.

“We do promote that we are in Kirra in order to separate ourselves from the Coolangatta hub,” Mr Diamandopoulos said.

“We have had people tell us that they try to search Zephyr Kirra, and it doesn’t come up,” he said.

“Even though it may seem simple, it could make a massive change for a lot of people.”

Mr Diamandopoulos said locals would also benefit from the change.

“It can affect calling ambulances when you are in a state of panic and say Kirra over Coolangatta, because you don’t realise that’s where you are,” he said.

“As Kirra is in this state of growing, with how many developments are going up, it would be nice to just sort of make it a bit of a line in the sand moment.”

Kirra local Joanna-Marie Bloor

Local Joanna-Marie Bloor says making Kirra a suburb would reduce confusion about addresses that are in Kirra but are listed as “Coolangatta”. Photo: Courtney Thomas

 

North Kirra Surf Life Saving Club staff member and local Joanna-Marie Bloor said she had always questioned why Kirra had not already become its own suburb.

“I live in Kirra, but I can’t put that down as a residential address, and having to say that it’s Coolangatta gets confusing,” Ms Bloor said.

“I just think it should be changed, for the better,” she said.

“Everyone knows it as Kirra, everyone knows where this place is, so it should be a known town and put on the map as Kirra.”

The petition currently has 407 signatures.

The online petition closes on September 8.

To sign the petition, visit the Queensland Parliament petition page.

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