Protecting our waterways and lifestyle at centre of climate adaptation partnership

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority and City of Gold Coast are partnering to plan and develop new technologies, infrastructure and environmental management practices under a new agreement aimed at tackling climate change.

As a first step under the partnership, GCWA and the City are commissioning a project to prepare a business case for managing coastal hazards, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events, in order to protect vital infrastructure including the Gold Coast Seaway, the Sand Bypass system and Wave Break Island.

The project will look at the social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change and consider a range of options for responding including developing new technology for monitoring changes, building new infrastructure or altering environmental management practices.

With a natural capital value of $26 billion and over 6,000 direct and indirect jobs relying on our waterways, the city depends on features like the Gold Coast Seaway, the Sand Bypass System and Wave Break Island to ensure ongoing and safe access to our waterways for recreational boaties and commercial operators.

They also protect public open spaces including Doug Jennings Park at The Spit and foreshores along the Broadwater from hazards like storm surges and erosion.

This project will consider how these assets are holding up against climate change impacts and what future infrastructure is needed  to respond to the changing environment.

A tender to undertake the project has been awarded to a group comprising south-east Queensland firms NCEconomics and Alluvium Consulting.

The partnership will build on the work being done under the City’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS).

The Gold Coast has a strong track record in leading the way with developing innovative responses to environmental challenges.

The Gold Coast Seaway and world-first Sand Bypass System were developed and constructed in direct response to the need for more robust coastal protection systems. The infrastructure still stands as one of Australia’s most significant engineering feats of the 1980s and was only possible because of direct support from the Queensland Government.

The project will set a clear direction for the management and protection of the coastal inland waterways using science and evidence-based research.