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Planning & building

The Gold Coast is a vibrant and attractive city. We are working hard to maintain our enviable lifestyle and ensure our city continues to thrive in a sustainable way.

Coastal River & Canal Works

This section contains information relating to private building, development, planning and approval of works associated with our waterways. You will find information on:

An Operational Works (OPW) application known as Prescribed Tidal Works is required for all marine structures including boardwalks, boat ramps, pontoons, jetties, and revetment walls. IDAS Forms Part A and Part P and the IDAS Checklist must be lodged with Council as part of the OPW application prior to the construction of any marine structure.

For further information regarding Prescribed Tidal Works applications refer to the Environmental Protection Agency website and search using the word “prescribed.”


Council does not permit boardwalks for private use to be constructed over the water. Boardwalks have the potential to trap debris and rubbish, and subsequently attract vermin.  Boardwalks also impact on Council’s ability to maintain the waterway.

Boardwalks constructed on the property within the waterfront setback require an application for a relaxation of this building setback.

Boat ramps

Council has a standard boat ramp design drawing available that can be used for the OPW application. Boat ramps are most suited to locations where the foreshore contours are within the design parameters of this design; that is, not too steep, rocky or restricted.

Pontoons and jetties

Pontoons and jetties are considered to be structures that are used for marine purposes, namely for providing access to and the mooring of floating vessels. Pontoons, however, are more suited to locations where a minimum depth of water can be maintained for all tidal limits.

Revetment walls

Revetment walls are permanent structures designed to prevent subsidence that commonly occurs adjacent to all waterways and the ocean. By definition a revetment structure is a protective covering on an embankment of earth designed to maintain the slope or to protect it from erosion.

Waterway revetment walls

Revetment walls constructed along waterways that protect areas of private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The position of the revetment wall is not always along the legal property boundary.

Owners should be aware that revetment walls benefiting their land are their responsibility to maintain. Body Corporate has responsibility for group title developments. The wall must be considered part of the property for the land it serves to protect. Like any structure, it has an engineered design life and requires regular and proper maintenance to prevent structural deterioration.

Appropriate maintenance includes routine inspections every few years by a suitably qualified engineer. In this way, preventative maintenance can be undertaken that will prolong the life of the wall and prevent structural failure.

Oceanfront boulder walls

The Gold Coast Planning Scheme requires that all ocean front habitable structures be protected by an oceanfront boulder wall, to be built along a specific alignment. The Coastal Development Requirements brochure provides more information regarding these particular revetment walls on the oceanfront.

Further information

For further information on coastal, river or canal works contact Coastal & Building Works:

Key information