Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy

SURVEY CLOSED: How much do you value the Whitsunday coast?
Whitsunday Regional Council and consulting firm, Climate Planning, would like to know what value our community places on its coastline.

  • How important is the beach and foreshore areas to you and your lifestyle?
  • What type of activities do you use the coastline for?
  • What do you see as the most important issues facing our coast?
For more information, visit the project page on Council’s engagement website Your Say Whitsunday

Thank you to those who completed the survey online at Your Say Whitsunday by 5pm, Friday 20 July 2018.

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
  • Ongoing 2017 and 2018 | Coastal hazard assessments
  • July 2018 | Community Survey regarding coastal values in the Whitsundays

Resilient Whitsundays Project 
Under the ‘Coastal Hazards and Responses’ funding, a number of projects are underway or planned for completion during 2017-2018, 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
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