The coastal strip from Shelly Beach to Moffat Beach is a

favourite spot for many of us.


A detailed study of the coastal strip from the southern end of Shelly Beach northward to Tooway Lake is underway. This stretch of coast includes Shelly Beach, Moffat Headland, and Moffat Beach. The investigation seeks to better understand community perspectives on what is valued about this section of coastline and the challenges and opportunities associated with its management. The findings of this investigation will help ensure the future management of the area achieves the right balance for our residents, our wildlife and our coastal biodiversity in the future.

The next step involved the community providing feedback on the issues, opportunities and the proposed actions identified through the study.

Community engagement

The community were invited to provide feedback on the issues, opportunities, and the proposed actions identified through the study. The consultation period closed on Monday, 29 November 2021. Thank you to all who took the time to provide detailed and considered feedback and written submissions.

Where to from here

Informed by the outcomes of a council workshop held in March 2022, the project team is currently:

  • Finalising a set of Fact Sheets to provide clarity on each of the remaining key issues
  • Preparing the required documentation to submit a pro-active Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act referral for the proposed activities to occur in proximity to known Marine Turtle nesting habitat.

The outcomes of this formal EPBC referral will inform the final consideration and decision within Council. A further update will be provided once the fact-sheets are available. Advice will also be provided once the EPBC Referral has been finalised and lodged. Once lodged with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water, assessment of the referral will be in accordance with the EPBC Act assessment guidelines and timeframes.

Council has and will continue to liaise with the relevant Australian and State Government Agencies to address any requirements upfront and to help streamline the referral assessment process.

Project updates

Between November 2021 and February 2022, the feedback received at the October 2021 workshops was collated and the significant volume of material received through the written submissions was analysed and consolidated with the feedback received on the day of the workshops. The feedback received provided both general support for many of the proposed directions as presented on the workshop panels and flagged a few key areas of concern where a difference of opinion, and/or difference of interpretation of relevant Australian and State Government legislation and technical advice remained.

During February and March 2022, the key areas of remaining concern were further tested with the relevant Australian and State Agencies including:

  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water (including EPBC Act)
  • State Government Department of Environment and Science
  • Queensland Herbarium, and
  • State Government Department of Natural Resources

In March 2022, a workshop discussion was also held with Council to present the draft findings of the Shelly Beach to Moffat Beach Coastal Study inclusive of the outcomes from the Community Workshop and the advice provided by the relevant Australian and State Government agencies.

Turtles prefer to nest on dark stretches of the Coast and bright lights can cause hatchlings to become disorientated, potentially leading to death from exhaustion, dehydration, and predators. During January and February 2022, temporary works were undertaken to support the first hatchlings that emerged on Shelly Beach on 9 February 2022. A light barrier made of sand and black coloured mesh was temporarily installed when nests were due to emerge to reduce the chance of hatchlings being disorientated by the bright artificial light. Other works included:

  • Traffic counters were installed on William Street, and the entrance to the William Street Car Park
  • Additional educational signage on William Street, Shelly Beach was installed
  • A range of works associated with the renewal of fencing at the end of William Street, Shelly Beach.

More information

For more information please email

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Project support

The Shelly Beach to Moffat Beach Coastal Study is being supported as required by engagement and technical specialists.

Urban Enquiry is the office of Cathryn Chatburn — a leading urban designer with 29 years’ experience managing design teams and advancing the expertise of in-house personnel, crafting policy, and facilitating the engagement and input of diverse stakeholders to shape strategies for places that seek to deliver positive environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Her contribution to the country’s built environment spans the nation’s capital, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.