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Tow ins at Currumbin August 28


The big winter swell continues but today there is an impossible sweep and a strong southerly.

The swells are frothy, Saharan dust stormed and feral, All Black-like in there offensive lines, intense, prone to shock and surprise, except probably not as consistent.

After these shots I go to Kirra.  Huge Kirra three times over head and barrelling slower than Monday.


I park, suit up and walk down to the South side of Greenmount hill and drift to Kirra Surf. Massive sweep. It’s funky and ripply and I take a couple of littlies.

Drift quicky past the groin during a long lull. Whinge to a few salmon paddling up stream. Then a set comes and I don’t take the first one, but the second is so far out. It just grabs me like the All Black forward pack and pushes me backwards grunting and heaving past Kirra Surf.

Nothing to do but surrender.

On the long cold return in the day’s last green grey light I walk backwards shivering and beaten to watch a surfer getting towed in on about three long waves, doing three deep barrels a wave at super speed. He was riding waves from Pizza Hut through to past Kirra Surf disappearing almost in the dark distance. Massive triple over headers smashing every part of their face pulling in and coming out of barrel after barrel… Click here to see Mick Fanning at Kirra videoed by Craig Halstead and posted on Coastal Watch.

Photos copyright Mic Smith

The only way into them is to tow in.IMG_5148 IMG_5149 IMG_5168 IMG_5179 IMG_5192 IMG_5197 IMG_5199 IMG_5201 IMG_5219 IMG_5227 IMG_5229 IMG_5232 IMG_5237

Memo #RSF Paris: Australian media freedom at risk from anti-terror laws

Originally posted on journlaw:


[Research assistance from media freedom intern Jasmine Lincoln]

Memo to:Benjamin Ismail, Bureau Asie-Pacifique, Reporters sans frontiers (RSF – Reporters Without Borders), Paris.

From: Mark Pearson, RSF correspondent, Australia

RSFlogo-enI regret to advise that several events and policy proposals have impacted negatively on the state of media freedom in Australia.

They are highly likely to threaten Australia’s ranking on your forthcoming RSF World Press Freedom Index.

A raft of new laws and policies proposed by the conservative Abbott Government has placed its stamp on media law and free and open public commentary.

The initiatives follow in the steps of the prior Labor Government that had proposed a new media regulatory regime with potentially crippling obligations under the Privacy Act.

In the course of its first year in office the Abbott Government has:

- imposed a media blackout on vital information on the important human rights…

View original 736 more words


Building swell: Barrels at Burleigh and Kirra


It’s one of those weeks when the surf is so good I don’t want to do anything else.
After a few days you see guys broken and crushed saying “No more”
I’ve been keeping an eye on Kirra and today it was sick
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Asher Pacey nailed heaps of barrels like this

Hollywood stars depict horn and tusk trade

Two new Hollywood films about Wildlife crime and poaching will star Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Wildlife Extra reports one of the movies which will be written by Will Staples for Warner Bros, will cover the global illegal wildlife trade with corrupt executives and poachers.

The other film about the illegal trade in elephant and rhino parts will be set in Africa.

Hardy is to play a former Special Forces soldier who moves to the African bush to train rangers to battle poachers.

The films will be produced by Toby Maguire.


Kirra starts to work. Saturday Aug 25

Photos copyright Mic Smith


Burleigh Sunday MorningIMG_4922






NZ sales website bans ivory and endangered species ads

CAPTION: Endangered animal products, such as these  elephant tusks and rhino horns confiscated in 1990, are now banned from ads on NZ website Trade Me.

New Zealand’s buy and sell website, Trade Me, has banned people advertising ivory, rhino horn and other endangered animal products on its site.

“We’ve decided to ban the sale of animal parts from animals listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (‘CITES’) on Trade Me. The ban will come into effect on 17 September 2014,” Trade Me says in a post on its website.

“A ban on ivory (and other animal products) feels like the right thing to do. We’ve consulted with a lot of experts in this area, including advocacy groups and the Department of Conservation.”

“Trade Me allowing the sale of ivory in particular is increasingly out of step with international trends. We also read the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee’s report which recommended a full ban on ivory sales in New Zealand,” Trade me says


Perfect barrels at Lennox and Sharpies Aug 17







Platypus deaths spark calls for Opera House trap ban

Platypus killed in Opera House Traps (2)
Two platypus have drowned in a fish trap in the Nerang River, sparking calls for the controversial trap design to be banned in Queensland.

Opera house traps are designed to trap yabbies or fish alive but if playpus swims into one it will drown, Environmental Scientist and platypus surveyor from the Gold Coast Catchment Association Natalie Hoskins says.

“Given the deadly nature of the traps, we would like these traps to be banned,” she says.

“These traps should clearly not be set in water bodies where platypus occur.”

The traps which are also deadly for native water rats and turtles have been banned in other Eastern states so Wildlife Queensland has requested Hon. John McVeigh, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to take immediate action to ban the Opera House trap from Queensland waterways as well.

The two platypus were found on Tuesday.

Ms Hoskins urges the public to please be aware of the dangers of using these traps in all waterways where platypus could live, adding that the presence of playpus in creeks and rivers goes mostly unheeded as they are extremely discrete creatures.

For more info go to the article in Blank Magazine.

When ‘off the record’ becomes ‘I am secretly recording’


I agree: “We continually hear that the future of the legacy media is in the trust capital they have earned with audiences over centuries of fair and accurate reporting.”

Originally posted on journlaw:


We heard this week that Victorian Labor Party staff destroyed an Age reporter’s dictaphone earlier this year after listening to its contents and hearing secretly recorded conversations.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 7.58.49 PMAs I blogged in NoFibs, The Conversation and Mumbrella this week, it is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources.

That newspaper’s editorial thundered at state opposition leader Daniel Andrews:

Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.

The journalist involved – Sunday Age state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went even further in her account:

It is…

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How broadcast journalists find stories


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