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Emma McBride at Soldiers Beach. Emma McBride at Soldiers Beach.
16 September 2021 Posted by 

Emma's passionate speech to Parliament: Early morning surfing with my dad

WHEN Emma McBride was a young surfer, you would find her out the back with her Dad Grant and her brothers with the orange dawn behind them, ready to tame one of the blue monsters at Soldiers Beach.
The fact that Mr McBride was the Member for The Entrance didn’t mean much when you were five metres in the air with rocks on one side, raging whitewater behind you and nothing but a big drop on to sand  in front of you.
Emma loved those special days and she recalled them in a passionate speech to Federal Parliament recently. Now following her late father’s political footsteps as the Federal Member for Dobell, Emma learnt a lot about life and loss in those young days at Soldier’s.
“It might be a cold wintry day in Canberra, but the surf conditions on the Central Coast are two to three feet with south easterly swell and the water temperature is a warm 20 degrees,” she told her fellow MP’s in a speech which shattered the droll rhetoric of a normally ‘dry’ day in Parliament.
“Why am I giving you a surf report today? Because I am pleased to get behind the Norah Head National Surfing Reserve.
“The Central Coast is home to more 40 beaches, stretching along almost 90km of coastline. I can still feel how alive I felt going for morning surfs before school with my Dad and my brothers with the sun slowly rising behind us, cool sand under our feet and waves crashing around us.
“We’d jump on our boards and plunge headfirst into the surf. This unique ribbon of coastline contains nine beach breaks, three bomboras and two reef breaks. It has nurtured state and national champions on short and longboards and it is home to women’s surfing pioneer and 14 times national champion Sandra English.
“So, I am delighted to join the Norah Head Surfing Fraternity, Norah Head Surf Life Saving Club, Norah Head Lighthouse and locals in their efforts to recognize this conic surf break as the Coast’s first National Surfing Reserve.
“My special thanks to Debbie Mcguigan and Jill Secomb for their hard work and dedication to this effort on behalf of all of our community.
“In the words of Debbie’s late husband Barry, who returned to competition surfing at 58: ‘I can sum it all up in a few words…ever-changing, pleasant, addictive and exciting It’s pleasant when there’s a small wave and you can try your moves. It’s exciting when it’s big and you have to survive’.”
When it is selected, Norah Head will join such legendary surfing spots as Manly, Snapper Rocks, Angourie and Crescent Head as a National Surfing Reserve.
Formed in Sydney Australia in 2005, National Surfing Reserves is a voluntary collaboration dedicated to recognising iconic surfing sites in Australia and assisting NSR sites globally.
National Surfing Reserves are 'iconic' places of intrinsic environmental, heritage and sporting and cultural value to a nation. NSR embrace all peoples to enjoy, understand and protect special coastal environments of universal value to the surfing world. A Surfing Reserve does not attempt to exclude any user group.
They are judged on the quality of the waves, as a placed considered scared to surfing.
Beaches include Maroubra, Angourie, Lennox Head, Crescent Head, Cronulla, Merewether, Killalea, North Narrabeen, Margaret River, Kalbarri, Manly-Freshwater, Yallingup, Gold Coast, Daly Head, Point Sinclair, Phillip Island, Mid Coast, Black Rock and Noosa Heads.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.