A Village Announcement
Surfers Paradise Littoral Rainforest
Via Cr Gary Baildon AM – Division 7

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Surfers Paradise Littoral Rainforest

The Surfers Paradise and Main Beach area is world renowned as a vibrant tourist destination, less well known is its natural past. When you think of rainforest on the Gold Coast you naturally think of the hinterland’s world heritage national parks and City of Gold Coast conservation areas. However, up until the 1940’s much of Division 7 was cloaked in magnificent stands of rainforest. The streets in the heart of Surfers Paradise such as Staghorn and Elkhorn Avenues are both named after iconic rainforest plants. Over the decades the city has become unrecognisable from these early days and transformed into the urbanised tourist destination we know today.

Within Main Beach, Narrowneck remains a small vestige of the rainforest past. Two small patches of littoral or coastal rainforest have endured the harsh coastal conditions, annual car races and the challenges of being located in an urban environment. These two areas of vegetation are all that remains of the littoral rainforest that once stretched along the coast. Littoral rainforest is a specific type of rainforest that occurs along coastal regions and is distinct from the hinterland rainforest that you may be more familiar with.  Locally and nationally littoral rainforest is critically endangered and is protected under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Some 20 years ago, then Mayor, Councillor Gary Baildon AM fenced the two remaining areas to protect them from the onslaught of car race fans and spectators who were climbing the trees for better views of the Indy races. In more recent times, the rainforest has been the target of vandalism with a Safety Network camera now in place to protect from further damage, reinforcing the message that this area is vital and is to be protected.

Councillor Baildon is as passionate today about protecting the remaining rainforests by allocating funds from his Division 7 budget to ensure these important areas are enhanced and protected for future generations.

New fencing has been erected around the southern area of vegetation. To ensure longevity and sustainability the fence was constructed in a recycled plastic and wood fibre material. The most important element to date is the more than 700 rainforest trees and shrubs planted to fill the gaps and expand the overall area of rainforest. Further works to be undertaken in 2019 include interpretive signage and similar works on the northern patch of rainforest to ensure the valuable community assets remain a part of the landscape into the future.