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Shoreline erosion management planning

Coastal erosion and its implications for communities

Cyclones can devastate coastal and island communities in Queensland and destroy our iconic beaches. Many coastal areas also experience recurring shoreline erosion problems due to natural coastal processes—including longshore transport of sand and channel migration.

Technically sound planning and shoreline management is vital in these areas to ensure infrastructure, natural systems and local amenity are protected from the impacts of coastal erosion and storm events.

Local governments generally have responsibility for beach management and commonly undertake works to protect beaches and community infrastructure from coastal erosion. Shoreline erosion is an ongoing threat to many coastal communities, and it is important for coastal councils to plan and respond to this threat in the most effective and cost-efficient way. However, effective planning for shoreline erosion requires specialist technical knowledge which some councils may not have. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection can provide technical assistance to assist councils plan for erosion.

Shoreline erosion management plans

Shoreline erosion management plans (SEMPs) are the Department's (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) preferred method for councils to address shoreline erosion issues at the local level. SEMPs enable local governments and their communities to develop effective and sustainable erosion management strategies. The department will provide technical support and advice to any local government wishing to prepare a SEMP.

SEMPs serve to:

  • identify significant coastal erosion issues
  • develop an understanding of the underlying coastal processes contributing to erosion problems
  • develop and evaluate options for erosion protection and management
  • facilitate community input on coastal erosion issues
  • planning for the delivery of selected erosion protection and management options.

For more information on developing a shoreline erosion management plan

The department has developed a guideline: Preparing a shoreline erosion management plan (PDF, 177K)* to assist local governments.

The Coastal Hazards Guideline Queensland is also available.

Enquiries can be directed to coastal.support@ehp.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated
18 September 2013