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The Gold Coast

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Palm Beach Shoreline Project

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Palm Beach Shoreline

Looking south towards Palm Beach during June
2016 swell event.

The beautiful 3.8 kilometre sandy shore at Palm Beach is an important part of the Gold Coast’s iconic coastline. However, it is more susceptible to serious beach erosion than other Gold Coast foreshores.

As part of the Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013–2023, the City is developing the Palm Beach Shoreline Project – a holistic plan to provide a sustainable solution for the ongoing protection of the foreshore at Palm Beach. The project aims to:

  • reduce the vulnerability of the beach and beachfront development to storm damage
  • protect, and if practical, enhance the beach amenity for the community
  • provide a sustainable, cost effective and integrated solution
  • avoid or mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts.

This initiative will ensure the shoreline continues to be the social and economic centrepiece of Palm Beach.

Developing the project solution

The City monitors Gold Coast beaches through hydrographic survey and coastal imagery analysis. Historic survey results show that Palm Beach is the most vulnerable to erosion during large storms.

The work completed on the project to date shows that beach nourishment stabilised by an artificial reef is the best long-term solution for Palm Beach. The further development of this coastal protection solution was endorsed by Council of the City of Gold Coast (Council) in March 2014 (refer ex Minute G14.0325.004).

The delivery of coastal engineering projects of this nature are complex and challenging. To meet these challenges the City adopted an approach to incorporate multiple investigations, which include; wave studies, surveys, physical modelling, numerical modelling and beach width analysis.

Project update – October 2016

  • The nourishment component of the Palm Beach Shoreline Project will be delivered between May and October 2017 as part of a wider Gold Coast Beach Nourishment Program. This program will deliver nourishment works for Palm Beach and the northern beaches of the Gold Coast from Miami and Main Beach. An international tender has been called in October 2016 to find a suitable dredging contractor and the City is working towards awarding a contract in early 2017.
  • Physical modelling of the artificial reef continues at the Queensland Government Hydraulics Laboratory through a collaborative working agreement with the State Government.
  • Preparation for further wave buoy deployments at Palm Beach is underway. City officers are currently monitoring offshore conditions to determine a suitable period for further wave and current data collection.
  • Adopted Report of the City Infrastructure Committee Meeting held Thursday 11 August 2016.

Project videos

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