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Western Australia welcomes world’s top surfers

For more information, contact Terry Redman (Member for Warren-Blackwood).

  • Drug Aware Margaret River Pro starts this week
  • Supported by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions 

Western Australia's South-West will be showcased to a global audience this week as the world's best surfers take on the region's famous waves at the 2016 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.

Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the State Government had been a proud sponsor of the award-winning competition for more than 30 years through Tourism Western Australia and, more recently, Royalties for Regions.

"High-profile events such as the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro are key to the Government's strategy to grow the value of tourism to $12 billion by 2020.  They add to the State's profile and appeal for visitors who inject billions into the economy," Mr Barnett said.

"Along with thousands of spectators, competitors and officials heading to Margaret River this week, a massive global audience will be following the world-class surfing action.  This is fantastic exposure for WA, our stunning coastline and powerful surf breaks."

From Friday, surfing's top 36 men and top 18 women will compete at Surfers Point for honours and vital international ranking points in the elite Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.

One of only 11 events on the worldwide tour, the 2016 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will feature defending champions Courtney Conlogue and Adriano de Souza alongside the sport's other biggest names including Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Filipe Toledo and Sally Fitzgibbons.

Facilities at Surfers Point were redeveloped in 2014 thanks to a $4.7 million Government investment through Royalties for Regions, providing easier beach access and better visitor facilities.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said tourism had a strong influence on regional development and events such as the Pro delivered significant social and economic benefits.

"The Margaret River Pro is an important event for the South-West that will boost the region's profile and economy and I am pleased Royalties for Regions supports it," Mr Redman said.

Excellent conditions at last year's event saw viewer numbers skyrocket across the world, with 1.8 million hours of online videos watched - a 128 per cent increase from the previous year.

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro also won the Major Festivals and Events gold medal at the 2015 Perth Airport Western Australian Tourism Awards for the second year running.

Fact File

  • 2016 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro held over 12 days from April 8-19 at Surfers Point
  • It is supported through the $80m Royalties for Regions-funded Regional Events Program, which supports other major events like the Margaret River Gourmet Escape
  • For more information, visit http://www.worldsurfleague.com