Adapting to changes along the Fraser Coast coastline – have your say

THE Fraser Coast Regional Council is planning how best to adapt to a changing coastline – and your input is needed.

Fraser Coast residents are being urged to have their say on a new strategy that will ensure the region is better prepared for the impacts of coastal hazards. PHOTO: File / Shaun Ryan.

Residents are being urged to have their say on a new strategy that will ensure the region is better prepared for the impacts of hazards such as erosion, storm tide inundation and permanent inundation due to sea level rises.

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Division 10 Councillor Zane O’Keefe said the Coastal Futures: Planning our Changing Coastline strategy outlined actions Council and the community could take to plan for the future of the Fraser Coast’s coastal areas.

“Our coastline is an integral part of our Fraser Coast identity and lifestyle. Whether we live on the coast, work in a coastal town, or escape to our beautiful beaches and water for a break, our coast is part of who we are,” Cr O’Keefe said.

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“This strategy is about planning for the future and the changes that will happen along our coastlines.

“The draft strategy has been informed by the best available science and has been a collaborative effort with the community, who have shared their experiences and knowledge and helped us understand what is important and how we should plan adapt to coastal changes.”

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The strategy includes regional actions that will impact the entire coastline as well as ten ‘local adaptation pathways’ tailored for specific coastal localities.

“From Burrum Heads in the north, Tinnanbar in the south, and all coastal areas in between, this strategy will help us better prepare for the impacts of coastal hazards on our communities, environment, infrastructure, cultural heritage, liveability and services,” Ct O’Keefe continued.

The ‘Regional Action Plan’ in the strategy includes a range of recommended actions including:

  • Educating and informing local communities about coastal hazard resilience;
  • Coastal monitoring programs and erosion studies;
  • Improved dune and foreshore management; 
  • Updating the planning scheme, disaster management plan and Council’s Operational Plans to take into account coastal hazard mapping and
  • Maintaining existing seawalls, groynes and other structures which protect public areas.

The ‘Local Adaptation Pathways’ within the strategy acknowledge that each locality on the Fraser Coast is unique and highlights key assets in each locality along with adaptation options that could be considered.

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These options include the potential refurbishment of existing seawalls, beach nourishment where possible and limiting future development in areas that are or could be exposed to coastal hazards.

Cr O’Keefe said community feedback had been vital in developing the draft strategy and he encouraged residents to view the document and have their say via the online survey or make a submission. 

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The draft Coastal Futures: Planning our Changing Coastline strategy is now available on Council’s Engagement Hub website and is open for consultation for the next four weeks.

“We thank all those who have been involved in the process so far, and encourage local residents to jump online and take the survey to let us know what you think about the draft strategy before Friday 2 July 2021,” Cr O’Keefe concluded.

To read the draft strategy, view the coastal hazard maps, fill out the short survey or make a submission, click here.

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