Buddina and coastal hazards: erosion and storm-tide inundation
The ocean and the beachfront are a dynamic phenomenon that is continually changing. Living at this location can be as exciting as it is hazardous. Cyclones, storms, heavy rain, the blazing sun and wind - we cannot control what nature delivers, however we can attempt to mitigate the associated risks and impacts through careful planning and cautious development.
Coastal hazard history of Buddina
Development sites along Pacific Boulevard adjacent to Buddina beach are located on land which is known to be at high risk of increasing tidal inundation; land which was recommended for resumption by the Beach Protection Authority (BPA) following cyclonic activity in 1972. During these cyclonic events, the dunes were breached at several locations along Buddina beach.
The BPA engineer’s report found that although the dunes had been lowered in areas as part of the new subdivision of Buddina, the greatest risk was due to the proximity of development to the primary dune. Council deliberated the recommended resumption of this land, however, it ultimately considered the exercise too costly. In addition, Council did not have the support of the residents for the proposed resumption of the land along Pacific Boulevard.
However, this recommendation did influence the second stage of the Kawana Estate plan and subdivisions where development had not commenced. The developments at Warana, Bokarina and Wurtulla were moved further west from the foreshore and dunes in exchange for the developer receiving state land at Battery Hill.
State declared erosion prone area
All development along Pacific Boulevard at Buddina requires consideration of the Queensland government's State Interest in risks associated with natural hazards, including the projected impacts of climate change. The State declared erosion prone area at Buddina is 175m from the highest astronomical tide (HAT), mapped in accordance with the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1994.
In July 2015, the State declared and defined the erosion prone area. This is the width of the coast that is considered to be vulnerable to coastal erosion and tidal inundation and designated to be subject to inundation by the by the year 2100 or at risk from sea erosion.
Reference to the State Development Assessment Mapping System (SARA) indicates that the declared erosion prone area along Buddina beach extends inland and also identifies the close proximity to both the medium and high storm inundation areas.
The Sunshine Coast planning scheme includes the Kawana Waters coastal protection overlay map which indicates the coastal protection area replicating the State mapping of the declared erosion prone area.
Based on Smartline geomorphology data, Pacific Boulevard is adjacent to the beachfront identified as dominantly sandy shores and very high erodibility, with the exception of the far northern section at Pt Cartwright which is identified as dominantly hard rock shores and low erodibility.
Sunshine Coast planning scheme
Council’s coastal protection overlay code is informed by a superseded version of the State Planning Policy however, it does reference the requirement for development to “take appropriate account of the predicted effects of climate change, including sea level rise” and also requires that development within an erosion prone area avoids:
intensification of existing uses;
new permanent built structures; and
seaward extensions of built structures
State Planning Policy
State Planning Policy (SPP) expresses the State’s interests in land use planning and development. The State interest in natural hazards, risk and resilience identifies that the risks associated with natural hazards, including that the projected impacts of climate change, are to be avoided or mitigated to protect people and property and enhance the community’s resilience to natural hazards.
This State Interest in natural hazards, risk and resilience includes the projected impacts of climate change. The SPP Assessment Benchmarks apply to all development applications for a material change of use in an erosion prone area located outside a coastal management district - this applies to all the Buddina erosion prone area.
The assessment benchmark (#3) requires that:
development …..avoids the natural hazard areas, or where it is not possible to avoid the natural hazard area, development mitigates the risk to people and property to an acceptable or tolerable level.
In accordance with the Planning Act 2016 (Qld), the SPP overrides the planning scheme to the extent of any inconsistency.
Documents and access links
State Planning Policy - state interest guidance material:
Natural hazards, risks and resilience – Coastal hazards May 2018
Buddina SARA and SCRC Maps overlaid
Coastal Dunes: Geomorphology (Sloss, C. R., Shepherd, M. & Hesp, P. (2012))