Three councils have become the first in Queensland to receive grants under the $12 million QCoast 2100 program, which helps coastal communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Submissions by Moreton Bay Regional Council, Noosa Shire Council and Whitsunday Regional Council were successful in securing a share of the funding which is available to all coastal councils.
The QCoast2100 program is being funded by the State Government and administered by the Local Government Association of Queensland which is working with eligible councils to support their proposals and assist them in preparing potential projects.
LGAQ President Mark Jamieson said program was intended to encourage affected councils to work together to minimise the risks.
“Wherever possible we encourage local governments to work together, sharing knowledge and resources to strengthen resilience right along the Queensland coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The emphasis for the QCoast2100 program is very much on helping coastal communities plan and prepare for coastal hazards such as storm tide flooding, coastal erosion and sea level rise.”
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said Moreton Bay, the Whitsundays and Noosa submitted strong submissions and urged other councils to follow their lead.
“The councils will now each develop a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy for their area based on an assessment of the specific local conditions and challenges which they need to meet,” Dr Miles said.
“I encourage all other eligible councils to get on board and follow the lead in taking action on climate change.”
Moreton Bay Regional Council has received a QCoast2100 grant of $500,000 to develop a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy after an initial high level assessment by the council identified a number of urban coastal areas at risk from coastal hazards as a result of climate change.
“Council will be undertaking a comprehensive CHAS for all areas of the Moreton Bay Region affected by coastal hazards, with a focus on urban coastal areas of the region including Toorbul, Donnybrook, Beachmere, Dohles Rocks, Bribie Island and Redcliffe,” Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland said.
“Our region boasts more than 170km of coastline and the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy area will cover more than 307 square metres or around 15 per cent of our total region.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the State’s contribution of $513,000, saying the grant would be used to develop the Resilient Whitsunday: Coastal Hazards and Response project.
“Our region has more than 500km of coastline with historical coastal hazards affecting Bowen, Airlie Beach and numerous smaller coastal communities,” Cr Willcox said.
“We are also looking to update and expand its previous work on preparing for the impacts of climate change and it’s likely that other priority areas will also be identified as part of this two-year project.”
Noosa Shire Council received $490,000 to update its work on developing a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy to tackle the effects of rising sea levels and changing weather patterns.
“We will be developing sophisticated mapping tools as well as 3D visual fly-throughs to help communicate and evaluate different scenarios. The work will also help inform the new planning scheme,” Mayor Tony Wellington said.
“There will be opportunities for community consultation and input as this project rolls out.”
The council has identified Noosa Heads, Noosaville and Tewantin, which collectively account for about 75 per cent of Noosa’s residential population, as the focus of its project areas.
The QCoast2100 funding announcement coincided with the Moreton Bay Region being unveiled as the host region for next year’s Australian Coastal Councils Conference.
Alan Stokes, Executive Director of the Australia Coastal Councils Association, said more than 200 conference attendees from Australia’s coastal councils will travel to Moreton Bay Region in Queensland for the conference from 3 - 5 May 2017.
“Conference attendees will be treated to an exciting program of keynote speakers on regional sustainability, trends in economic development in coastal areas, and current impacts of climate change,” Mr Stokes said.
Mayor Sutherland said he was proud his region could host the prestigious national conference at Oaks Mon Komo Hotel in Redcliffe.
“It’s a great opportunity for Moreton Bay to showcase our local businesses, hotels and tourism product to the rest of the country with the help of Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism, and highlight our region’s sustainable approach to identifying and managing coastal hazards.”
For more information about the 2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference visit: https://www.coastalcouncils.org.au/.