COASTING INTO THE FUTURE: A coastal conversation was happening at Cannonvale Beach on Tuesday morning, to talk about coastal management strategies going forward. From left are Andrew Marshall, Joanne Hennessy, Olivia Brodhurst, Tony Fontes, Richard Scott, Jessa Lloyd, Heather Marshall, Katrina O'Malley-Jones, Donovan Burton and Adam Folkers.
COASTING INTO THE FUTURE: A coastal conversation was happening at Cannonvale Beach on Tuesday morning, to talk about coastal management strategies going forward. From left are Andrew Marshall, Joanne Hennessy, Olivia Brodhurst, Tony Fontes, Richard Scott, Jessa Lloyd, Heather Marshall, Katrina O'Malley-Jones, Donovan Burton and Adam Folkers. Deborah Friend, Whitsunday Times

Beach erosion, storm tides hot topics at consultations

STORM tides and beach erosion were the hot topics at gatherings around the region to talk about coastal issues.

Council officers and coastal management experts have been visiting townships in the region to hold discussions with residents about the future management of coastlines.

Residents were invited to come along and hear about coastal processes and hazards shaping the region's coastlines and provide feedback on future management options.

Starting with Wilson's Beach and Conway Beach, on Monday (December 2), the group then visited Cannonvale Beach and Bowen, on Tuesday (December 3) and Hydeaway Bay and Dingo Beach, on Wednesday (December 4), to talk with residents.

Whitsunday Regional Council's manager for health, environment and climate, Adam Folkers, said the informal discussions were part of the consultation process for the development of council's Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy.

"The strategy really only looks at two hazards - coastal erosion and storm tide inundation - and these have been discussed at all locations so far,” Mr Folkers said, adding the turn-out had been good.

"The predicted sea level rises will increase the amount of coastal erosion and storm surge in later years.”

Mr Folkers said there were lots of different predictions about sea level rises around the world but the Queensland Government had endorsed rising sea level projections of 0.3 metres, by 2050, and 0.8 metres, by 2100.

"The conversations are about understanding what the community values in their beaches and protecting and preserving that, so when council develops the strategy, we don't contradict what people want and their values.

"But at the same time, we are looking to protect both the private and public infrastructure from storm tide effects and coastal erosion.

"We are really just trying to get community input into how council manages coastal environment into the future and protect and preserve what the community values and what they would like to see maintained.

"We need to start thinking about these things now - it's too late when it's already occurred.

"We need to consider management options ahead of time.”

A draft of the Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy will be released in the new year so everyone can comment and provide feedback. Anyone with inquiries can call council on 1300972753.


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