Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy


Coastal Conversations

How you would like to see your coastline managed into the future?

Council officers and coastal management experts visited your area in December 2019 to discuss the future management of our coastlines and how they may affect you.

In December 2019, residents from Bowen, Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Conway Beach, Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay and Wilsons Beach were able to:

• Explore the coastal processes shaping our coastlines;

• See what coastal hazards are impacting us now and into the future;

• Provide feedback on coastal management and adaptation options for the future.

View some key results below, or download this Summary here


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.


Coastal Conversations

How you would like to see your coastline managed into the future?

Council officers and coastal management experts visited your area in December 2019 to discuss the future management of our coastlines and how they may affect you.

In December 2019, residents from Bowen, Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Conway Beach, Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay and Wilsons Beach were able to:

• Explore the coastal processes shaping our coastlines;

• See what coastal hazards are impacting us now and into the future;

• Provide feedback on coastal management and adaptation options for the future.

View some key results below, or download this Summary here


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.



  • Coastal Values Survey 2018

    3 months ago

    Council conducted a survey of members of the community and visitors in July 2018 to better understand how the region values our coastline.

    The aim of the survey was to build a greater understanding of how important the coastline is to the people in the Whitsunday region, and identify the issues and concerns of the community.

    A total of 215 responses were received both online and in person across the region. This information has been considered during the development of coastal hazard mapping and adaptation options.

    Council conducted a survey of members of the community and visitors in July 2018 to better understand how the region values our coastline.

    The aim of the survey was to build a greater understanding of how important the coastline is to the people in the Whitsunday region, and identify the issues and concerns of the community.

    A total of 215 responses were received both online and in person across the region. This information has been considered during the development of coastal hazard mapping and adaptation options.

  • Community workshops July 2017 - Historical Analysis

    over 1 year ago

    Council held two successful workshops in late July 2017, with presentations from Australian Heritage Specialists and Climate Planning. The workshops highlighted to the public the key notable weather events along the Whitsunday coastline, including cyclones, floods and droughts, dating from as far back as 1884.

    Donovan Burton from Climate Planning discussed some of the key climatic trends and associated cascading impacts for the public, such as insurance and disaster management implications.

    Members of the public were invited to view the visual displays showcasing climatic weather patterns, significant cyclones and floods experienced by coastal Whitsunday townships, ask questions and provide feedback...

    Council held two successful workshops in late July 2017, with presentations from Australian Heritage Specialists and Climate Planning. The workshops highlighted to the public the key notable weather events along the Whitsunday coastline, including cyclones, floods and droughts, dating from as far back as 1884.

    Donovan Burton from Climate Planning discussed some of the key climatic trends and associated cascading impacts for the public, such as insurance and disaster management implications.

    Members of the public were invited to view the visual displays showcasing climatic weather patterns, significant cyclones and floods experienced by coastal Whitsunday townships, ask questions and provide feedback to Council on the topics presented.

    Whitsunday Regional Council will be looking at hosting further community presentations associated with the next phases of the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy in the near future. These will be advertised here, on Facebook and in the newspaper.

    You can view the photos and videos submitted by the community below under 'Latest News'.


  • Submission by Felicity Chapman - Cyclone Ului

    over 2 years 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

    over 2 years 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

    over 2 years 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

    over 2 years ago
    Quarter page historical weather events ad   facebook



  • Historian looks for coastal hazard events in the Whitsundays

    over 2 years 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...

    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.


  • Resilience in the Whitsundays

    over 1 year ago

    Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy

    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. ...

    Resilient Whitsundays: Coastal Hazards Adaptation Strategy

    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

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

    over 2 years 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

    over 2 years 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...


    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 >