A $2 million investment has been announced to fund sand replenishment and extra rock protection on Woodgate Beach to provide an added layer of defence for for publicly owned infrastructure close to the water.
The funds have been allocated as part of the Queensland Government’s North Queensland Natural Disaster Mitigation Program, with $10 million going towards 22 state-wide projects aiming to reduce disaster risk and lower insurance costs for residents, businesses and communities.
The $2 million granted to Bundaberg Regional Council will be used for the Woodgate Beach Sand Nourishment program, which includes the construction of a 240-metre seawall and a 20-metre-wide sand buffer (beach nourishment) along a stretch of 700 metres of coastline.
Council applied for the funding after data from the Woodgate Beach Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (SEMP) was released.
The project, completed in 2017, developed solutions to mitigate coastal erosion and in particular, the northern area immediately surrounding the existing boat ramp.
Divisional representative Cr Bill Trevor said the SEMP had identified what areas along the coastal township needed to be prioritised.
“SEMP gave us data that outlined the shoreline most at risk over the next 20 years extends approximately 400 metres north of the existing boat ramp, and for about 300 metres south of the ramp,” he said.
“To mitigate further erosion in this area a plan has been adopted to provide a 20-metre-wide sand buffer and 250 metre seawall, which will reinstate the shoreline position of the mid-1980s.
“To achieve this, approximately 16,000 cubic metres of sand is required along the 700-metre-long at-risk shoreline.”
Cr Trevor said construction would begin mid-2023.
“The seawall will be built in the vicinity of the boat ramp, to be buried at the rear of the newly nourished beach,” he said.
“This will require the partial removal and re-establishment of existing coastal vegetation along the length of the structure.”
Cr Trevor said all elements of the project would add to the protections of community infrastructure along Woodgate Beach.
“The purpose of adding more sand to the area is to provide an erosion buffer capable of accommodating the effects of a weather event equal to 1% chance of occurring any given year,” he said.
“The buried seawall will provide protection against more severe storms.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was pleasing to see work getting closer for the important project which was part of Council’s commitment to protecting the environment, public facilities and homes.
“This project is a result of long-term strategic planning through Council’s Coastal Hazard Adaption Strategy (CHAS),” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Through consultation with local residents the CHAS helped us to identify the erosion and inundation risks across the entire Bundaberg Region coastline.
“We’re now in a strong position to undertake, and advocate for, these works which is evident through this successful grant application.”
The project is scheduled to start construction mid-2023 and will take approximately four months to complete, weather permitting.