Mike Baird hits the waves following COAG meeting and High Court ICAC decision

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Premier Mike Baird began surfing more than 30 years ago. Photo: Dallas Kilponen Premier Mike Baird with fellow competitors for the Vintage Wood heat at the 2015 MalJam surfing competition. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Longboards and friendly surfing competition in North Curl Curl made a pleasant contrast to tense Council of Australian Governments talks for Premier Mike Baird on Saturday.

Mr Baird, who has been surfing for more than 30 years, competed in a longboard heat in the Curly Maljam before heading back into the surf riding a 1950s replica wooden longboard for an exhibition heat.

He used few words to sum up how he surfed in the first heat: “Not great”.

“The first one I was out with some great surfers,” Mr Baird said. “The club is a group of guys who love their surfing.  They let everyone have a go and that’s what I love about it.”

Mr Baird, a member of the North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club since 2007, said he enjoyed riding the replica board, and praised his fellow surfers.

“The other guys were obviously a lot better but it was good fun, I enjoyed being out there,” he said.

Mr Baird said he hoped to get in a bit more surfing practice now the election campaign was over.

Mr Baird would not be drawn on whether the government would consider using legislation strengthen the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s powers following a High Court decision this week to not permit the corruption watchdog to investigate prosecutor Margaret Cunneen.

“I haven’t yet been fully briefed on all the ramifications and all the considerations, but we will do two things: we’ll make sure we continue to have the strongest ICAC we possibly can because we need them and they do a good job shining the light on practices that no-one thinks acceptable. At the same time we obviously need to consider, with expert opinion, the ramifications of this week.”

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