Pipeline project to bolster beach
  • Thursday 17 November 2011

Maroochy Beach attracts nearly three million visitors per year and contributes around $88 million to the local economy, so it’s only natural that Sunshine Coast Council is determined to protect it.

Division 8 Councillor Debbie Blumel said a $1.2 million renourishment project would soon be carried out by council to counter erosion.

"During storm events quite a lot of sand is lost from the beach, exposing the rock shelf and generating erosion cuttings of up to three metres," she said.

"When this occurs the area becomes quite hazardous for beachgoers and reduces the overall recreation amenity of the beach."

Division 4 Councillor Chris Thompson said a Maroochydore Beach Renourishment implementation report was currently being prepared by coastal consultants.

"This report is examining the dredging of sand from the Maroochy River mouth that would be pumped via a 1.6km pipeline onto Maroochy Beach to a point just north of the skate park at Alexandra Headlands," he said.

"Initial calculations suggest there are approximately 300,000 cubic metres of sand in the Maroochy River estuary outside the declared Fish Habitat area that would be available for this renourishment project."

Cr Blumel said a similar project had been successfully carried out at Noosa Beach a number of years ago.

"That has been a major factor in keeping Noosa beach in great shape year round," she said.

"Performing similar works at Maroochy Beach will be vital not only for the local economic and safety reasons but also to ensure it has the required sand levels to stage the 2016 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

"Around 30,000 cubic metres of sand will be needed at Maroochy Beach to achieve this required beach profile."

Cr Thompson said the installation of the new pipeline was likely to start in May 2012.

"This project will be staged over two financial years and includes construction of a new beach access ramp adjacent to the Maroochy Surf Club to provide access for council maintenance and beach cleaning machinery to respond to erosion events," he said.

"These pipeline works are considered interim protection measures and longer term protection strategies for Maroochy Beach will be initiated through council’s Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (SEMP)."