Did you know that under the Global Commission of Adaptation, 2020 is the year of Action on Climate Change Adaptation? This is a welcome reminder of the importance of coastal hazard adaptation planning across Queensland, and the work undertaken locally to protect Our Coast, Bundaberg’s stretch of over 100km of beautiful coastline.
The CHAS project held the first Community Reference Group meeting (CRG 8) of 2020, being a great opportunity to share with the community the progress Bundaberg Regional Council and wider project team has made since the last CRG meeting.
As a part of CRG meeting 8, Council provided the community a way to directly contribute to how adaptation options are prioritised. Using multi-criteria analysis is a best practice method and enables further refinement to adaptation options identified during Phase 6. Criteria used in this assessment include:
For each of these, an A3 poster was set up around the meeting room, and participants given coloured ‘sticky dots’ that they assigned to the criteria posters to demonstrate their preferred criteria ranking. These results were used to validate previously developed criteria weighting through the Project Team, to directly include community perspectives into Phase 7 outcomes.
From here, the project team is working towards finalising Phase 7 and entering Phase 8, in preparing the final Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy document. This will include a short summary video to share with you.
Further CRG meetings (6 and 7) were held in August and October 2019 where members contributed to developing and validating the long list of adaptation options to mitigate coastal hazard now and under future sea level rise scenarios. A range of options were presented to the community group from the “Compendium” of adaptation measures, including regenerative options such as beach nourishment, dune construction and regeneration; coastal engineering options such as seawalls, artificial reefs and groynes; land use planning options such as land buy-back; development controls and non-structural options such as disaster management, education and awareness campaigns.
The group also reviewed the pros and cons of each option and provided feedback to the project team about the suitability of the options for each coastal settlement in the context of the current and future coastal hazard risks i.e. settlements may experience a change in risk profile over time – How will we mitigate the risk going forward?
Is there a scenario where defend is no longer an option? Do we continue to monitor the sea level until it reaches certain levels?
As part of Phase 7, the CRG also provided input to the ranking and screening of adaptation options by considering the costs, benefits, effectiveness, viability and negative impacts of the long list of options. The project team have used the CRG input in conjunction with technical expertise to refine the long list of options to refine multi criteria assessment. This assessment will assist the economic appraisal of the adaptation options for input into the final strategy document in Phase 8.
The results of the community survey revealed what resident’s value most about the Bundaberg Region coastline and will be used to shape the CHAS. More than 600 residents participated in the survey and the headline findings are:
The top five ways people use the coast:
The top five qualities and characteristics of the coast:
The top five concerns about the coast:
The results from the community values survey will be used to assist to shape the future strategy and manage the risks of coastal hazard by provide guidance and a framework by which adaptation options to coastal hazards will be identified.
The fourth and fifth CRG meetings were held in May and June 2019 where members contributed to developing and validating the complex vulnerability and risk assessment processes as part of Phases 4 and 5 of the CHAS. For example, at the fourth CRG the group provided input to the risk assessment assumptions including looking at the scales of consequence of coastal hazard across a range of scenarios and sea level conditions. At the fifth CRG the group were provided the preliminary results of the coastal hazards risk assessment across the Bundaberg coastal region and consideration was given to acceptance and tolerance levels the community has to coastal hazard risks and how this acceptance or tolerance level may change over time with rising sea level conditions. The group were presented with the priority areas, i.e. those settlements subject to intolerable risks and the sea level scenario that triggers the intolerable risk.
The CRG also provided input to the vision of resilience for the Bundaberg coastal region to understand what the future state for the coastal settlements in terms coastal hazard risk is and how can each adaptation option help to achieve this.
The statements of vision, coupled with the community survey insight will provide the framework for Phase 6 where the project team will discuss potential adaptation options to reduce or maintain risk from coastal hazard.
To help shape Our Coast, we need to hear from you. What do you love about living by the coast? How would you like to see it look into the future? What is important to you that you would like to see protected into the future? The values survey has been extended another 2 weeks and closes on the 17th May 2019. Help us to understand what is important to you by COMPLETING THE SURVEY TODAY.
A third CRG was held on the 21st March 2019 to invite CRG members to share their experiences with coastal hazards e.g. storm tide inundation or coastal erosion. The CRG provided local observations and identified a range of infrastructure assets, environmental and cultural features and properties exposed to present day and future coastal hazards. The group also provided valuable input into the CHAS project by ‘ground truthing’ the coastal hazard mapping created in the earlier phases of the CHAS. The mapping viewed by the CRG is available in the Document Library. The CRG was also invited to consider what might be deemed as acceptable, tolerable or unacceptable levels of risk to different assets, features and property.
The Our Coast project team has also completed the early analysis of the assets and features that are exposed to the storm tide inundation and coastal erosion extents identified in the earlier phase of the CHAS. This analysis will undergo a full risk assessment process to enhance the understanding of the consequences of existing and future coastal hazards. This will be presented to the next CRG scheduled for May 2019 where the group will discuss risk tolerability in more detail and help to prioritise the assets and features based on community values.
Council has appointed coastal environmental consultancy Water Technology to undertake the CHAS. They are currently undertaking Phase 3 which is to identify the areas exposed to coastal hazard both now and in the future. Coastal hazards being considered include both short term and long-term erosion and storm tide inundation of low lying coastal land. A range of future sea level rise scenarios are being considered to understand how the hazard is likely to change over time. The output of Phase 3 will be updated coastal hazard mapping for the region.
Share Your Story
Involvement from the local community and stakeholders is being sought as part of the information gathering exercise to assist with the understanding of the coastal hazards along the Bundaberg region coastline. The project team would like to hear from people who have any supporting information about coastal hazards such as photos, videos and stories. This could be information relating to beach erosion, storm tides, tidal flooding or impacts from historical cyclone events that have impacted our coastline. This information is important to provide locally specific details to support the development of the CHAS and will help build a publically accessible record over time. You can share this information via the Share Your Story link on this website by completing the form, describing your information and then uploading it.