Community Consultation

The Community Consultation Process regarding the Sunshine Coast Council’s deliberations on what action to take regarding the mouth of the Maroochy River is about to begin. Five venues have been booked for broader community consultation sessions and they are:

  • Tuesday 15 August – Coolum Surf Club – 6pm to 8pm
  • Thursday 17 August – Caloundra Power Boat Club – 6pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday 22 August – Maroochy Surf Club – 6pm to 8pm
  • Thursday 24 August – Maleny RSL – 6pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday 29 August – Nambour RSL – 6pm to 8pm

If you feel that the natural beauty of the Maroochy River is one of the main reasons why people love to live on, or visit the Sunshine Coast, it is very important that you attend these meetings and have your say.

You may not live in Division 8, the council division the Maroochy River is in … and rock walling the mouth of the Maroochy River doesn’t directly affect you, but there is a flow on effect and we suggest that when you have your say, you consider the following:

  • The thousands of jobs and businesses dependent on the popularity of the Sunshine Coast are directly affected by people’s love of and attraction to the natural attributes of area.
  • Despite development, which is inevitable, we must assure that “we don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg” and turn the Sunshine Coast into another Gold Coast.
  • Given the vast amount of things that need to be done in every council division to maintain existing infrastructure and to build and maintain new infrastructure, as a ratepayer to the Sunshine Coast Council, you don’t want to see large amounts of your money being spent on something which doesn’t really need to be done … and fixing something that isn’t broken.

Background

Don’t Rock the Maroochy has, through a civil engineer with coastal engineering experience in our group, been assessing option costings the council has provided on the repair or replacement of the existing geotextile groyne field.

We point out that the existing geotextile groynes have done the job they were designed to do and earlier this year, Council commissioned a condition report on them from ICM (International Coastal Management, the company that designed the groynes).

ICM inspected the groynes in March 2017 and delivered their condition report to council the following month.  This ICM report is extensive, but in summary … it states:

  • The existing geo textile groynes are still working and doing the job they were designed to do and the containers (bags) in at those groynes that are sound have a total life of 25 years or longer.

This assessment means that since they were installed between 2000 & 2003, ICM estimate the sound containers have 8 - 10 years working life still left in them. 

The following info is from the executive summary of the ICM report regarding the state of the existing geo textile groynes:

  • Across the seawall and the four groynes, a total of 315 containers were compromised, including:
    • 31 damaged containers (repairable)
    • 66 damaged (non-repairable)
    • 51 displaced (potentially reusable)
    • Approximately 167 missing bags (from the initial groyne design).
    • This equates to about 5% of an estimated 3,500 containers.
    • A preliminary estimate of cost to restore the groynes to original design is $150,000 - $200,000, using the same size containers and fabric as the ones that are there now.

Despite the information in this report, council engineers appear to consider that the existing geotextile groyne field is at the end of its working life and in providing the brief for a council commissioned Cost Benefit Analysis from JB Pacific, seem to have ignored as an option, the repair/replace/maintain information provided by ICM.

The options detailed in the JB Pacific Cost Benefit Analysis are:

  • Removal of the existing geo textile groynes and replacement with new geotextile bags – capital cost 2.6 million dollars
  • Removal and replacement of the existing geo textile groynes and replacement with new rock groynes – capital cost 5.73 million dollars
  • Construction of a new 200m long seaward facing rock groyne at Cotton Tree – Capital cost 4.09 million dollars based on concept design only
  • Re-establishment of a northern river channel for the Maroochy River, by the mechanical re-construction of a beach connecting Pin Cushion Island to Cotton Tree – Capital cost 7.53 million dollars based on concept design only
  • Re-establishment of a northern river channel for the Maroochy River, by the construction of a new rock breakwater connecting Pin Cushion Island to Cotton Tree – Capital cost 8.47 million dollars based on concept design only

Don’t Rock the Maroochy has prepared a response to these costings and cost benefit analysis, which we will be presenting and submitting at the Public Consultation Meetings and to the Maroochy River Estuary Consultation Group.

You can read that response here.

For more information, the council has developed a project webpage containing a range of relevant information. See that here.