Living Coast Plan now endorsed by Council

Council endorsed Moreton Bay's Living Coast Plan at its general meeting on 31 May 2023.

This decision is an endorsement to continue the important work of improving the resilience of our much loved coastal areas to hazards including cyclones and severe storms, erosion, tidal inundation and projected sea level rise.

How community helped to shape the Plan

The draft Living Coast Plan underwent public consultation from November 2022 to December 2022. There was significant support from the community for the plan.

Based on consultation feedback, the Living Coast Plan has been updated with additional focus on the coastal environment. This includes case studies that highlight ecological and recreational values and the liveability of Moreton Bay’s coastal areas. A case study has also been presented in the Living Coast Plan about the potential impact to koala habitat at Hays Inlet based on the projected sea level rise threat.

Increased awareness of coastal hazards and education on how to manage them was highlighted in the consultation feedback. Local Resilience Plan pilot projects identified in the Living Coast Plan at Scarborough and Dohles Rocks (Griffin) received positive feedback with residents wanting to work with Council to increase their resilience to coastal hazards.

What's in the plan?

The Living Coast Plan assesses the risk of projected impacts to our coastal areas by 2050 and up to the year 2100. This includes the impacts of projected sea level rise, as well as the impacts of erosion and cyclones.

Tidal inundation is the biggest future risk to our coastal communities. For some communities, that might mean future inundation on the annual king tide or from storm surges. Areas that already experience tidal inundation should expect that to become more frequent.

The eastern side of Bribie Island, including the community of Woorim, has the highest erosion risk in the region. The rest of our coastline is well protected by Bribie Island and Moreton Island but is still at risk from erosion during severe weather.

Coastal hazards are not expected to increase at a steady rate between now and the year 2100. Rather, change is expected to accelerate after 2050.

It’s estimated that coastal hazards are already costing the Moreton Bay region an average of $42 million per year in damages. By the year 2100, if we do not take steps to mitigate risks, that could rise to $468 million.

"Cost" includes damage to buildings and facilities (publicly and privately owned), damage to transport infrastructure (including costs associated with loss of access), damage to natural assets, indirect damages (including loss of tourism and emergency response), and intangible damages (such as anxiety, injury or loss of life).

sea water innundation at Toorbul

Tidal inundation at Toorbul

Next steps

The Living Coast plan will provide a strategy for how we approach coastal adaptation across our Moreton Bay.

The plan identifies the highest priority jobs for Council to help avoid or mitigate future impacts. These include increased natural management of dune vegetation and mangrove areas, working with communities to identify local trigger points to start active management, and reviewing planning scheme requirements.

The Living Coast Plan will help Council prioritise adaptation projects across the region. The Plan will include actions for Council, owners of other infrastructure (eg Unity Water, Department of Transport and Main Roads), communities, developers and property owners.

We will all need to work together to change the way we use at risk coastal areas. Implementing the Living Coast Plan will protect the things about our coastal areas that we as a community love and support our Moreton Bay to become a region of amazing places and natural spaces.