Council endorses State and community role in coastal erosion responses

Redland City Council today endorsed the establishment of a senior level Coastal Adaptation Steering Committee to help respond to coastal erosion issues across the City, together with individual Reference Groups for specific coastal erosion sites.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Hon Andrew Powell, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection had already offered the support of government officers to attend stakeholder meeting on shoreline erosion issues.

“Council will now be extending the invitation to the State Government to be part of the new Coastal Adaptation Steering Committee designed to provide clear high level policy direction for coastal management across the city’s 220 kilometres of coastline.

“The Redlands has one of Queensland’s highest coastal erosion risk areas at Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island.

“At meetings between Council and Amity Point residents earlier this year, it was agreed that the State Government had a central role in responding to coastal erosion management measures such as the construction of sea walls to defend individual properties.

“It was also very clear that local knowledge had to be part of drafting local solutions,” Cr Williams said.

“That is why we have agreed to establish individual Reference Groups to help develop Shoreline Erosion Management Plans for specific sites, starting with individual Reference Groups at Amity Point on North Stradbroke and Norfolk Beach on Coochiemudlo Island.”

“These individual Reference Groups will include local community representation to ensure the communities experience and perspective is taken into account.”

Divisional Councillor for North Stradbroke Island, Cr Craig Ogilvie said he had been actively lobbying for some time for the easing of approvals necessary for residents to defend their properties through the construction of rock seawalls.

“The residents of North Stradbroke Island have over 100 years of documented shoreline erosion experience and arguably know what works best and what doesn’t.

“I certainly hope that these new structures will provide greater clarity and certainty for both Council and residents and a stronger say for residents in developing local responses to erosion issues.” 

Divisional Councillor for Victoria Point and Coochiemudlo Island, Cr Lance Hewlett said policies of coastal retreat were often adopted as a realistic response to the erosive power of nature.
“It is equally important to identify reasonable measures to defend important coastal habitats and property, including collaboration with all stakeholders on coastal dune management and revegetation.

The coastal foreshores and beaches throughout the Redlands are highly valued by the wider community for their aesthetic and environmental attributes. These coastal areas also attract thousands of tourists to our city every year which represents a significant investment in our local economy.”