How you would like to see your coastline managed into the future? Council officers and coastal management experts recently met with residents in each of our coastal communities to discuss the future management of our coastlines.
In December 2019, residents from Bowen, Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Conway Beach, Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay and Wilsons Beach were able to:
• Explore the coastal processes shaping our coastlines;
• See what coastal hazards are impacting us now and into the future;
• Provide feedback on coastal management and adaptation options for the future.
So what the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy?
Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change, by identifying climate change adaptation as a key focus for the region. With over 500km of coastline, the Whitsunday region and its residents are vulnerable to the long-term impacts of climate change.
Part of Council’s proactive strategy is the development of a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS). The strategy aims to identify and respond to coastal hazards in order to provide a detailed assessment of current coastal hazards, as well as those predicted under future climate change scenarios. The CHAS has been funded by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and Whitsunday Regional Council, and will be developed throughout 2017 and 2018.
The Whitsunday Region is exposed to a number of natural hazards, all of which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Recent modelling undertaken by BoM and CSIRO shows that climate change is projected to affect the Whitsunday Region in the form of temperature increases, changes to rainfall, increased storm surge events, the intensity of tropical cyclones as well as a rise in sea levels.
Council recognises it plays a critical role as a coastal community Council and custodians of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as its wider stakeholder obligations towards the pivotal economies of tourism, agriculture, and mining.
What have we achieved so far?
July 2016 | Climate Change Policy and Strategy formally adopted by Council
2016 | LGAQ funding received to develop the ‘Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards and Responses’ project
February 2017 | Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with Kingborough Council
July 2017 | Community Consultation on the History of Extreme Weather Events in the Whitsundays
2017 and 2018 | Coastal hazard assessments
July 2018 | Community Survey regarding coastal values in the Whitsundays
July 2019 | Coastal hazard mapping completed
December 2019 | Community Consultation - Coastal Conversations
Resilient Whitsundays Project
Under the ‘Coastal Hazards and Responses’ funding, a number of projects were completed during 2017-2019, including:
Historical analysis of notable weather reports and community workshops
Scoping coastal hazards and vulnerability assessment
Coincidental storm tide modelling and erosion assessment
Biodiversity and ecosystem assessments
Coastal groundwater asset review (Bowen)
Indigenous and cultural study
Risk assessments and adaptation options assessment