Coastal Management

  • There are two common coastal hazards under the present climate:

    Coastal erosion:

    Erosion occurs when winds, waves and coastal currents act to shift sediments away from an area of the shore, often during a storm.  In most locations this is a short-term process and the shore gradually regains sediment.


    During a storm, low atmospheric pressure and onshore winds can cause storm surge and extreme wave heights along the coast.  When these coincide with high tide, inundation may result. 

    Coastal hazards can result in property damage, loss of life and/or environmental degradation.  The impacts are generally greatest where the shoreline has been modified and development for infrastructure or settlements. 


    As our climate changes, the impacts, locations and frequency of coastal erosion and inundation are also anticipated to change, particularly due to rising sea levels.

    Torres TideTorres figure 1


  • The QCoast2100 program, a joint initiative between the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Queensland Government has been designed to assist Queensland coastal councils with funding and technical support to progress the preparation of plans and strategies to address climate change related coastal hazard risks.

    There is an eight-phase structure to the preparation of a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy. The structure is designed to scope, identity and assess potential coastal hazards and develop a strategy and implementation plan to respond to the hazard. 

    Torres Shire Council has successfully applied for funding through the QCoast2100 program for phases 1-5.


    Torres image 3


  • The Council is undertaking the preparation of a CHAS to guide decision making across key areas of local government planning and operations including:

    •    Corporate and operational planning and financial planning 
    •    Land use planning and development assessment 
    •    Infrastructure planning and management including roads, stormwater and foreshores
    •    Asset management and planning including nature conservation, recreation, cultural heritage values and other public amenities
    •    Community planning 
    •    Emergency management 

  • The studies undertaken so far have determined that the focus of the CHAS is on the coastal settlements of Torres Shire, namely:

    •    Waibene (Thursday Island) – entire coastline
    •    Ngurupai (Horn Island) – Wasaga township and the coastline seaward (north) of the airport
    •    Muralug (Prince of Wales Island) – Front Beach (Community of Muralug), Country Women’s Beach and Collis Beach
    •    Gealug (Friday Island) – Pearl farm site on the south-eastern corner of the island, as well as three additional settlement areas on the norther and eastern coastlines
    •    Zuna (Entrance Island) – Two settlement areas along the north-western coastline

    Map of locations of interest for CHAS

    Torres map 2

  • Phase 1 – Plan for communication and engagement

    • Completion of the Stakeholder Communication and Engagement Strategy which identified:
      • the project reference group
      • key stakeholders
      • how Council will engage and keep the community involved and informed


    Phase 2 – Scope coastal hazard issues 

    • Completion of the Torres Shire Coastal Hazard Risk, Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment which identified potential risks to the community, assets and values associated with coastal hazards, specifically:
      • temporary flooding of coastal areas due to storm tide
      • temporary loss of land due to coastal erosion
      • permanent loss of land due to coastal erosion and sea level rise
    • Planning horizons adopted for the CHAS are present climate, 2050, 2070 and 2100
  • Phase 3 – Identify areas exposed to current and future coastal hazards

    • Engagement with the key stakeholders and the community
      • Inform about the project
      • Opportunities to be involved
      • Obtain views and feedback about what they value about the coast
  • Phase 4 – Identify key assets potentially impacted

    Phase 5 – Undertake risk assessment of key assets

  • As part of Phase 3 Council is seeking to introduce the project to the community and capture community values

    Findings from this stage will be important input into the risk assessment of the assets in the coastal area and will be used to development potential adaptation options. 

    You can:

    • Attend a community information day being held in November where you can learn more about the project and ask questions from Council staff and consultants
    • Provide input by completing a survey (click here)
    • Contact Torres Shire Council either in person, by phone or email.  The Council contact is:

    Maxwell Duncan, Director, Governance and Planning

    Phone: 07 4069 1336