The City of Busselton's coastline, especially the low, sandy and extensively developed Geographe Bay coastline, has always been subject to coastal erosion and shoreline movement, with different portions of the coast eroding or accreting at different times. This process has historically been influenced by a number of factors, principally weather and ocean current patterns, and their interaction with changes in the shape and location of beaches, sand bars, coastal structures and the rest of the marine environment. As these things change, sections of the coast have switched from experiencing periods of net erosion to periods of net accretion and vice versa. The way this issue is perceived has also changed in recent years as knowledge has increased on the potential impacts of climate change induced sea level rise, related changes to weather and ocean current patterns, and their potential impacts on coastal erosion and shoreline movement.
This is an issue of concern to the community and the City, and there have been a number of coastal erosion and inundation studies undertaken for the City of Busselton's coast. Most recently, in 2012, the City commissioned modelling using the latest available base data, that consisted of more accurate digital topology information and recent actual shoreline movements. In addition the Western Australian Planning Commission issued a position statement stating that coastal planning is undertaken on the basis of an estimated 0.9 metres sea level rise over 100 years.
Access to the City's Interim Coastal Erosion Modelling can be obtained by:
- Viewing the City’s Online Mapping system and selecting the Interim Coastal Adaption Area Layer to show you land within a 150 metre setback line from Horizontal Setback Datum (HSD) - this distance gives a guide to the minimum setbacks of development from the coast in accordance with the Department of Planning’s State Planning Policy (SPP) 2.6;
The Council has resolved that the City will now consider potential coastal erosion risk issues associated with any proposal for development between the existing coastline and 150 metre setback line on the maps.
The City continues to progress with the development of more comprehensive coastal adaptation planning, and the approach to the issue may change over time.
Coastal Adaptation Strategy
The Western Australian Planning Commission requires coastal local governments to prepare coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plans (CHRMAP) where existing or proposed development is located in an area at risk of being affected by coastal hazards over a 100 year planning horizon. The City has now commenced preparation of our Coastal Adaptation Strategy (based on the CHRMAP framework) and has engaged coastal management experts to assist with the technical aspects of the project. The Strategy will be a planning document that informs the community and decision makers about potential coastal hazards arising from sea level rise (such as erosion and flooding), the consequences and necessary actions. The Strategy will outline key directions for adapting to coastal hazards over a 100 year planning timeframe.
Community and stakeholder engagement is fundamental to the development of the Strategy and there will be several opportunities for the community to be involved. The City recently commissioned a survey on what our community values about our coast and what is considered important for future coastal planning, protection and adaptation. The survey questionnaire was also available on the City of Busselton ‘Your Say’ portal. The ‘City of Busselton Coastal Adaptation Research’ report describes the survey findings. The community values collected by the survey will be used to develop potential coastal adaptation pathways. Public information sessions/workshops on coastal adaptation pathways are also planned for March 2019 and the draft Strategy will be made available for public comment around mid-2019. Should you wish to be notified of public information sessions/workshops please submit your contact details via firstname.lastname@example.org citing Coastal Adaptation Strategy.
Interim Coastal Erosion Modelling Maps
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