Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy: Do you have a story to tell about extreme weather in the Whitsundays?

Thank you for the contributions we have received so far! You can view the photos and videos submitted by the community below under 'Latest News'.

We invite you to attend a community event on Saturday 29 July to hear a presentation from the Historians engaged by Council to collate and analyse information about past weather events and patterns.

  • 10am, Reef Gateway Hotel, Cannonvale
  • 6pm, Queens Beach Hotel, Bowen

The presentation will cover historically prominent weather events and their impacts on the community, including floods, cyclones and heatwaves, from the earliest settlement records up to Cyclone Debbie.

Enjoy food and refreshments during the presentation, and share your stories while viewing the visual displays!


Get Involved and Share Your Story!

Council invites you to share your stories and photos of past severe weather with us as part of this project, including personal recollections, photos of physical damage and reflections on the social impact to the community. This information will be vital for a complete and accurate picture of past weather events for our community records.

The historian will be working with local historical societies to collate this information, and will be presenting to the community at Information Sessions currently planned for July 2017.


BACKGROUND > Council taking the lead on climate change

Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change, by identifying climate change adaptation as a key focus for the region.

With over 500km of coastline, the Whitsunday region and its residents are vulnerable to the long-term impacts of climate change.

To respond to these challenges, Council adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Strategy in July 2016, to guide and deliver a range of important climate change projects.

Council is working closely with leading global specialists in climate change adaptation, Climate Planning, to determine how the Whitsunday region can best adapt to a changing climate.


Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy

Building on this recent work, Council has received funding from the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to deliver the ‘Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy’ (CHAS).

This project will begin the important work of identifying which areas and key assets are at risk from coastal hazard in the Whitsunday region, and will develop potential options for responding to these challenges.

The project has eight key phases, which are as follows:

  1. Plan for Stakeholder communication and engagement
  2. Scope coastal hazard issues and undertake historical analysis
  3. Identify areas exposed to current and future coastal hazards
  4. Identify key assets potentially impacted
  5. Undertake a risk assessment of key assets in coastal hazard areas
  6. Identify potential adaptation options
  7. Undertake a socio-economic appraisal of adaptation options
  8. Strategy development, implementation and review

Thank you for the contributions we have received so far! You can view the photos and videos submitted by the community below under 'Latest News'.

We invite you to attend a community event on Saturday 29 July to hear a presentation from the Historians engaged by Council to collate and analyse information about past weather events and patterns.

  • 10am, Reef Gateway Hotel, Cannonvale
  • 6pm, Queens Beach Hotel, Bowen

The presentation will cover historically prominent weather events and their impacts on the community, including floods, cyclones and heatwaves, from the earliest settlement records up to Cyclone Debbie.

Enjoy food and refreshments during the presentation, and share your stories while viewing the visual displays!


Get Involved and Share Your Story!

Council invites you to share your stories and photos of past severe weather with us as part of this project, including personal recollections, photos of physical damage and reflections on the social impact to the community. This information will be vital for a complete and accurate picture of past weather events for our community records.

The historian will be working with local historical societies to collate this information, and will be presenting to the community at Information Sessions currently planned for July 2017.


BACKGROUND > Council taking the lead on climate change

Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change, by identifying climate change adaptation as a key focus for the region.

With over 500km of coastline, the Whitsunday region and its residents are vulnerable to the long-term impacts of climate change.

To respond to these challenges, Council adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Strategy in July 2016, to guide and deliver a range of important climate change projects.

Council is working closely with leading global specialists in climate change adaptation, Climate Planning, to determine how the Whitsunday region can best adapt to a changing climate.


Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy

Building on this recent work, Council has received funding from the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to deliver the ‘Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy’ (CHAS).

This project will begin the important work of identifying which areas and key assets are at risk from coastal hazard in the Whitsunday region, and will develop potential options for responding to these challenges.

The project has eight key phases, which are as follows:

  1. Plan for Stakeholder communication and engagement
  2. Scope coastal hazard issues and undertake historical analysis
  3. Identify areas exposed to current and future coastal hazards
  4. Identify key assets potentially impacted
  5. Undertake a risk assessment of key assets in coastal hazard areas
  6. Identify potential adaptation options
  7. Undertake a socio-economic appraisal of adaptation options
  8. Strategy development, implementation and review
  • Submission by Felicity Chapman - Cyclone Ului

    about 2 months ago
    Felicity chapman ului 1

    Tropical Cyclone Ului 2010 - Living in Jubilee Pocket we only lost vegetation. It was a different story near the water with the amount of boats washed up onto the shore.


    Tropical Cyclone Ului 2010 - Living in Jubilee Pocket we only lost vegetation. It was a different story near the water with the amount of boats washed up onto the shore.


  • Submission by Jan Clifford - Cyclone Debbie

    about 2 months ago
    Jc 1

    Nemo survives Debbie!

    Shute Harbour Motel after Cyclone Debbie.

    Nemo survives Debbie!

    Shute Harbour Motel after Cyclone Debbie.
  • Submission by Owen Fuller - Cyclone Ada

    about 2 months ago
    Yoursay cyclone ada video 3 footage 2

    The photos attached are taken from footage taken by my brother Colin Fuller on 8mm film of Cyclone Ada. There are three videos that can be viewed online on youtube. At the time I was living in Proserpine, which experienced damaged homes, many with roofs taken down, and many power poles damaged or felled. News reporting at the time recorded Cyclone Ada as a Category 3 cyclone, however my thoughts are that it was at least a Category 4, especially given that the weather recording at the time was not as detailed as it is now. Ada came in via Funnel Bay, and the impact on the Cannonvale and Airlie Beach areas was severe, the Airlie Beach pub at the time was totally wrecked with the top section blown off into Muddy Bay (where the marina is now). Lots of boats were sunken and all the leaves stripped bare from trees around Airlie and Cannonvale. In comparison to Debbie my observations are that Ada was much more contained and moved a lot faster, where as Debbie covered a larger area and moved very slow.


    The photos attached are taken from footage taken by my brother Colin Fuller on 8mm film of Cyclone Ada. There are three videos that can be viewed online on youtube. At the time I was living in Proserpine, which experienced damaged homes, many with roofs taken down, and many power poles damaged or felled. News reporting at the time recorded Cyclone Ada as a Category 3 cyclone, however my thoughts are that it was at least a Category 4, especially given that the weather recording at the time was not as detailed as it is now. Ada came in via Funnel Bay, and the impact on the Cannonvale and Airlie Beach areas was severe, the Airlie Beach pub at the time was totally wrecked with the top section blown off into Muddy Bay (where the marina is now). Lots of boats were sunken and all the leaves stripped bare from trees around Airlie and Cannonvale. In comparison to Debbie my observations are that Ada was much more contained and moved a lot faster, where as Debbie covered a larger area and moved very slow.


  • Community Presentation on 29 July

    about 2 months ago
    Quarter page historical weather events ad   facebook



  • Historian looks for coastal hazard events in the Whitsundays

    4 months ago
    20170330 083003

    31 May 2017

    With over 500km of coastline to manage, the Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change by delivering the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy over the next twelve months.

    The Strategy aims to prepare residents who live along our coastlines for the long-term impacts of climate change, such as sea-levels rising, more storm surge events and the increased intensity of tropical cyclones.

    As the first step in the project, Council has engaged a historian from the Australian Heritage Specialists to review and collate information on all notable weather events from the past in the Whitsunday... Continue reading

    31 May 2017

    With over 500km of coastline to manage, the Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change by delivering the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy over the next twelve months.

    The Strategy aims to prepare residents who live along our coastlines for the long-term impacts of climate change, such as sea-levels rising, more storm surge events and the increased intensity of tropical cyclones.

    As the first step in the project, Council has engaged a historian from the Australian Heritage Specialists to review and collate information on all notable weather events from the past in the Whitsunday region, with the help of local historical societies in Bowen and Proserpine.

    The community is also encouraged to participate, and share their stories and memories of past weather events either online or during public information sessions, to be held in July 2017.

    By gathering information from as many sources as possible Council will receive a clearer picture of the long-term impacts, said Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox today.

    “The historian will work alongside our local historical societies to review all of our records and identify patterns for rainfall, temperature and wind speeds,” he said.

    “This information will be invaluable in identifying which areas are at risk from coastal hazards, so we can develop options for responding to these challenges.”

    “In the meantime I encourage all of our coastal community members to visit the Your Say Whitsunday website, where you can share online your stories, memories, photos and other records from severe weather events you may have experienced over the years,” Mayor Willcox said.

    The public information sessions will be held in July, and will include presenting historical photographs and climate pattern data, along with information from the project’s initial findings.

    Dates and times for the public information sessions will be made available closer to the time on the website, social media and advertised in the local papers.

    A key area of focus for Council will be identifying climate change adaptation strategies, to both reduce the harmful effects of climate change as well as making the most of any opportunities which may result from these changes.

    It is envisaged that all historical information and personal stories about weather events in the region will be form part of Council’s historical records.


  • Council receives Highly Commended at the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards!

    4 months ago
    2017 australian coastal awards

    4 May 2017

    Whitsunday Regional Council were recognized for their proactive approach to Climate Change with a Highly Commended award at the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards in Brisbane on 4 May 2017.

    On hand to accept the award were Councillors Ron Petterson and Jan Clifford, Director of Community & Environment Julie Wright and Manager Health Environment and Climate Adam Folkers. The quartet all attended the Australian Coastal Councils Conference.


    4 May 2017

    Whitsunday Regional Council were recognized for their proactive approach to Climate Change with a Highly Commended award at the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards in Brisbane on 4 May 2017.

    On hand to accept the award were Councillors Ron Petterson and Jan Clifford, Director of Community & Environment Julie Wright and Manager Health Environment and Climate Adam Folkers. The quartet all attended the Australian Coastal Councils Conference.


  • Councils Sign MOU for Climate Change Innovation

    4 months ago
    Img 2251


    17 February 2017

    Two councils from opposite ends of the country signing a Memorandum of Understanding which will allow them to work together on climate change research.

    This is a proactive initiative which is why Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council Andrew Willcox and Steve Wass, Mayor of Kingborough Council in Tasmania, both put pen to paper in Airlie Beach today in a groundbreaking agreement.

    Mayor Willcox said the new partnership is one of learning and collaboration and will guide us to improve upon our existing practices and prepare our communities for the developing impacts... Continue reading


    17 February 2017

    Two councils from opposite ends of the country signing a Memorandum of Understanding which will allow them to work together on climate change research.

    This is a proactive initiative which is why Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council Andrew Willcox and Steve Wass, Mayor of Kingborough Council in Tasmania, both put pen to paper in Airlie Beach today in a groundbreaking agreement.

    Mayor Willcox said the new partnership is one of learning and collaboration and will guide us to improve upon our existing practices and prepare our communities for the developing impacts of climate change.

    "It is vital that council is committed to assisting the community in reducing its carbon footprint and saving money.

    "This plays a small part in the global fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hopefully slow the impacts of climate change.

    "It also makes economic sense with escalating power and fuels costs," Mayor Willcox said.

    "Last year, Whitsunday Regional Council adopted its first ever Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Strategy.

    "Kingborough Council is a recognised leader in climate change planning so it made sense for us to partner with them to learn from their experiences.

    Kingborough Council Mayor Steve Wass said his visit to the beautiful Whitsunday region seeks to reinforce that local government is pivotal to providing a meaningful response to climate change.

    "Climate change is not just an environmental issue for local government - it is a whole of business, whole of community issue that should be addressed in a structured and strategic manner.

    "I am delighted that our councils have chosen such an approach.

    "Through the signing of a memorandum of understanding Kingborough and Whitsunday Regional councils make a commitment to facilitating and showcasing real-world, community-focused and truly innovative approaches to the challenges and opportunities that climate change creates," he said.

    < ENDS >


  • Council puts a focus on climate change

    4 months ago
    Flood 17506 1920

    13 July 2016

    Whitsunday Regional Council has today approved a Climate Change Policy and a Climate Adaptation Strategy 2016-2020 for the Whitsunday Region.

    Mayor Andrew Willcox said that the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is designed to guide Council’s response to the effects of climate change.

    “Our region is known to be exposed to a number of natural hazards, all of which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Recent modelling undertaken by BoM and CSIRO shows that climate change is projected to affect the Whitsunday Region in the form of temperature increases, changes to rainfall,... Continue reading

    13 July 2016

    Whitsunday Regional Council has today approved a Climate Change Policy and a Climate Adaptation Strategy 2016-2020 for the Whitsunday Region.

    Mayor Andrew Willcox said that the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is designed to guide Council’s response to the effects of climate change.

    “Our region is known to be exposed to a number of natural hazards, all of which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Recent modelling undertaken by BoM and CSIRO shows that climate change is projected to affect the Whitsunday Region in the form of temperature increases, changes to rainfall, increased storm surge events, the intensity of tropical cyclones as well as a rise in sea levels,” Cr Willcox said.

    “The Strategy will ensure that climate change adaptation is a core component of planning for a more resilient Whitsunday Region and that is mainstreamed into Council’s functions and activities,” he said.

    “It will support Council’s long term financial planning, asset management, strategic planning and disaster management with consistent and scientifically sound information related to climate change.

    “Having a proactive approach to climate change will also provide more avenues to receive government funding for projects, allowing us to further understand the risk of natural hazards and the indirect risks that present a range of challenges to Council and the community.”