What is ‘Our Resilient Coast. Our Future.’?

‘Our Resilient Coast. Our Future.’ is the name of the long-term strategy Council is developing to help us better understand current and future impacts of coastal hazards to make our coastline more resilient.

Coastal hazards may include erosion, temporary inundation of coastal land due to tides and storms (known as storm tide inundation), or permanent inundation of coastal land due to sea-level rise.

Why are we developing this strategy now?

Sunshine Coast Council has been awarded funding from the State Government and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to undertake detailed assessments to assist with this long-term planning.

By undertaking this work it will help us to be better prepared for the future, and to reduce the impact of coastal hazards on our communities, environment, cultural values and built assets.

What’s involved in developing the strategy?

Our strategy will be a plan for the future. Its development will involve multiple phases of work over the next 18-24 months. We’ll use the best available science and understanding to examine coastal hazard risk and adaptation options.

Each phase of the process seeks to integrate scientific and engineering studies, economics, and community and stakeholder inputs and values.

More than 40 coastal councils in Queensland are progressing their own coastal adaptation strategy, and similar work is ongoing across Australia and internationally.

What’s the focus of the strategy?

Our coastline is dynamic, it’s always changing over time. In completing our strategic plan, we’ll better understand:

  • Coastal values: What you value most about living on the Sunshine Coast. How you use, value and connect to our coastlines.
  • Coastal hazard risk: Current and future risk of erosion and storm tide or permanent inundation, and how this may impact on the coastal values.
  • Adaptation options: The range of options to avoid, mitigate and manage coastal hazard risk that are appropriate and relevant for different locations along the coastline.

Throughout this process, it’s important that we listen to the community, understand key issues, gain knowledge on key values and the history of the coastline, and consider innovative approaches.

Community views are a vital part of developing the strategic plan. Please participate in our consultation, either online or in person. To do this, subscribe on our website and we’ll send you updates.

What will the strategy provide?

The development of the strategy leads to the creation of a long-term plan (up to 2100) that Council and other agencies and asset owners can use to manage the coast over time.

Once approved, the strategy will:

  • Ensure there is a shared understanding of coastal hazards, risks, and the preferred approaches to adaptation along our coast.
  • Enable proactive planning for both the short-term (e.g. next 5-10 years) and long-term (e.g. 50 years) protection of coastal values, including natural and built assets.
  • Help reduce risk exposure and avoid financial (and other) costs to council and the community.

The strategy also provides a platform for conversations about how we manage our coastline together.

How will the strategy be used?

The strategy will provide a range of short- and long-term actions to avoid, mitigate and manage the impacts of coastal hazards.

The strategy outputs will inform:

  • Statutory planning (future land use zoning)
  • Development controls in areas that may be impacted by coastal hazards in the future
  • Infrastructure and asset planning and management, including public and community facilities
  • Emergency and disaster response
  • Environmental and cultural management and protection 
  • Financial forecasting and budgets.

What does it mean for me – and how can I get involved?

Our coast is integral to our region’s identity. It’s important that our strategy, as well as adaptation responses, are aligned with community expectations and coastal values.

We will also engage with key agencies and organisations, each with a role to play in the future management of the coast and/or assets in close proximity to the coast.

The strategy provides many different and exciting opportunities for the community and stakeholders to be involved. If you have a keen interest in our coast and its future, we want to work with you.

To keep up-to-date with Our Resilient Coast. Our Future. and the development of the strategy, you can:

  • Subscribe to receive regular progress updates and notifications of public meetings. Go to haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/our-resilient-coast, enter your email and click on the ‘Subscribe’ button
  • Ask the team questions about coastal hazards and the strategy development process by emailing ourresilientcoast@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.
  • Contribute by sharing your thoughts and helping us shape the strategy. Please join us at our community events and keep an eye on the project website or subscribe for details on upcoming meetings.