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Our resilient city

Building future resilience of our valued environmental, cultural and built assets is one of our top priorities.

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Our resilient city – our plan for coastal adaptation

Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most iconic coastal cities. There's golden beaches, endless waterways and a beautiful natural landscape. To protect our coast we’re planning to ensure our environmental resilience, now and in the future.

Queensland’s dynamic coast is always changing. According to the State Government projections, by 2100 sea level rise will be 0.8 metres. The possibility of cyclone activity will increase and track south more often. This could mean changes to coastal areas with increased erosion, storm tides and flooding in low-lying areas.

City of Gold Coast, together with 41 other Queensland Councils, was awarded funding under the State Government’s $12 million Coastal Hazards Adaptation program (QCoast2100) to develop effective plans (known as a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy) to minimise the impacts of coastal hazards.

Building future resilience of our valued environmental, cultural and built assets is one of our top priorities. To safeguard our city we are developing Our Resilient City – our plan for coastal adaptation. Coastal hazards can leave lasting damage including erosion to our beaches. Storm tides and flooding inundate land, affecting our communities, properties and assets. Working with stakeholders and the community, we are sharing ideas and solutions. This helps to better understand coastal hazards. It also helps to inform future planning, with cost-effective adaptation options.

New solutions

An adaptation option is a recommended solution to avoid, manage and mitigate coastal hazards. Extensive stakeholder input and the best available science, engineering and economic studies underpin these options. The solution could maintain or change an existing approach in the following areas:

  • land use planning and development assessment
  • Infrastructure planning and management
  • asset management
  • community planning
  • business continuity planning
  • emergency management.

The plan is a high-level, technical background strategy. It meets objectives of our City Plan and Corporate Plan. Any actions, investigations and implementation recommended through the strategy are subject to long-term funding decisions by Federal, State and Local Government authorities.

Building on experience

Our Resilient City – our plan for coastal adaptation builds on our existing coastal management efforts. We draw our experience from over 50 years of innovative research and technology. We have proven success in protecting coastal assets. Our ongoing coastal protection activities include:

  • a multi-million dollar investment via our Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013-23
  • sand replenishment
  • seawall and groyne construction
  • installation of artificial reefs
  • upgrades to accessibility and infrastructure
  • ongoing cleaning, dredging and facility maintenance.

We’re working with the following groups to access innovative research, technology and proven experience:

  • State Government
  • Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)
  • internal and external advisory groups
  • project reference groups
  • over 40 coastal councils in Queensland progressing their own coastal hazard adaptation strategies.

Similar work is ongoing across Australia and around the world.

Why prepare a Coastal Hazard Adaption Plan?

The Gold Coast City Plan details the overarching principles that are guide land use and development decisions. This includes the consideration of natural hazards such as:

  • coastal erosion,
  • storm tide inundation
  • future inundation due to projected sea level rise of 80 centimetres by 2100.

Anthropogenic sea level rise has the potential to impact on the functionality and durability of essential public assets. These include

  • water supply network
  • stormwater assets and roads
  • footpaths and cycle paths.

Extreme weather events and exposure to stronger, more intense storms will also contribute to the deterioration of valuable assets. Such assets include parks and open space.

The City already undertakes a strong program of coastal management work. This enables the City to absorb the impacts of coastal erosion. Coastal hazard planning will enhance the social, economic, environmental and land use planning objectives this program of works supports.

Defending the shoreline will always remain a long-term adaptive measure to address coastal erosion. This includes along our ocean beaches and the immense and complex networks of artificial and natural waterways. The plan will also consider other potential adaptive approaches such as:

  • avoid
  • build capacity, or
  • accommodate anticipated future changes.

The plan will enhance our ability to identify adaptation options for our City. This will improve our city’s resilience up to and beyond the year 2100.

Consultation will continue with key asset owners and community input. This will occur throughout the development of this body of work.

Join the conversation

Our coast is integral to our city’s lifestyle, reputation and identity. It’s important that our plans as well as adaptation options, align with community expectations, preferences and values.

The development of the plan provides a platform for conversations about what we value and how we manage our coastline together. If you’d like to learn more about our coast and its future resilience, we want to hear from you by 23 September 2020.

Visit us at to provide feedback, ask a question or talk to a planner.

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