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Mobile Wave Tank In Caloundra - Coastal Survey To Minimise Damage


Senior Coastal Engineer with Alluvium Consultancy, Phebe Bignell, showing us how the tank operates.  Image Credit: Michelle Price 

The ever popular wave tank is making its final appearances on the Sunshine Coast.

This demonstration, in Caloundra on Tuesday, will show how different landforms or environments affect waves along our coastline and provide insight into ways we can lessen the effects of coastal hazards through different management or adaptation options.

Steve Skull, Regional Manager of Alluvium Queensland, said there are some active hot spots across the coast, when it comes to erosion, but Council already has a plan to address those.

Now they want to refine what they already know and add community feedback to that.

So far, he said people have recalled some of the big events, in terms of large cyclones that have travelled down the coast and significant floods.  

Mr Skull said they would love to see old photos and hear accounts from people who have called the coast home for some time. 

He also admitted that erosion is a natural phenomenom and the sand will eventually find its way back to where it disappeared from.  He said the problem is, we have a growing population on the coast and we need to look after infrastructure and assets, both public and private.  

He said they are keen to develop strategies that will protect homes and businesses from being claimed by rising sea levels, as a result of climate change.  Mr Skull said the point is, they want to be able to respond to those "coming pressures".  

Mr Skull said they are also working hard to make sure our sandy beaches stay in their pristine condition, a big drawcard for tourists.  


Senior Coastal Engineer with Alluvium Consultancy, Phebe Bicknell.  In front of the wave tank are various objects which represent real life items like sandbags and mangroves which can lessen the impact of wave activity.  Image Credit: Michelle Price 

The wave tank is an integral part of council’s consultation for ‘Our Resilient Coast. Our Future’, a long-term strategy to help manage the impacts of coastal hazards and increase the resilience of our region.

Council also wants to hear from residents.  You can head online and share your photos, memories and what you value about your coastline.


Acting Manager Environment and Sustainability Policy Dave Moore.  Image Credit: Michelle Price 

In particular, we want to find out what people love about our beaches, natural landscapes, coastal paths and parks, as well as their past experiences of coastal hazards, like beach erosion and seawater inundation, and how the coastline has changed over time.

Acting Manager Environment and Sustainability Policy Dave Moore said the aim of the project is to help Council provide a healthy and liveable coast into 2041.

He said they will be developing a long term strategy to deal with long term hazards, such as coastal erosion.

Mr Moore added that we are home to around 60 kilometres of coastline and the coast is a dynamic place.  He admitted many of our coastal residents would have seen evidence of erosion or inundation in their time here.

He said the aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of coastal hazards and improve how Council can respond to them.  

Mr Moore said Council's Shoreline Management Plan tries to address coastal erosion, but this new initiative will look further into the future.  

It comes after some changes had to be made ahead of the Noosa Triathlon and the filming of Channel Ten's Masterchef due to erosion carrying away a lot of sand earlier this year. 

The results of the community survey could also help Council make changes to current hazard mapping.  

By Michelle Price

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