The Golden Beach Sailing and Boating Club at Caloundra will benefit from a $4.5 million funding commitment to repair and restore 170 metres of seawall damaged by storm surges, high tides and erosion caused by the tidal breakthrough at Bribie Island in the Pumicestone Passage.
The extraordinary disaster assistance is being funded by the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments through jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), following the significant 2021-22 weather events.
The seawall and boat ramp will be rebuilt, drainage improved and the foreshore restored, providing better access for users while protecting the valuable park, coastal pathway and nearby roads.
The new seawall will also address issues of safety along this stretch of coast, with erosion uncovering a historical landfill, including asbestos sheeting and washing debris onto the beach near the site of the TS Onslow Navy Cadets.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the repairs will be great for locals, volunteers and visitors alike.
“I’m pleased this project will allow beachgoers to start using the area again, while also making it more resilient to future erosion,” Minister Watt said.
“Those weather events, which caused widespread damage in Queensland, started to unearth historic buried waste including asbestos fragments and glass, and wash them onto the beach. Obviously, this needed a large-scale fix and it’s terrific to see all levels of government collaborate to deliver this important project for Caloundra.”
“These works are also complemented by a further $32 million all three levels of government invested this month in disaster preparedness on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa through the new Disaster Ready Fund. The Fund will deliver a range of local projects, including over $16 million to reconstruct 300 metres of the Mooloolaba foreshore seawall.”
Queensland Tourism and Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the project would make Golden Beach more resilient to storm surges and higher tides in the future.
“This joint funding delivers a brighter future for Golden Beach Sailing Club, recreational boaties and swimmers,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know the tidal breakthrough at Bribie Island has created challenges for the sailing club and navy cadets at TS Onslow, that’s why we’re investing $4.5 million in a lasting solution.
“Rebuilding the seawall and boat ramp will deliver a safer environment for volunteers, as well as the many Queensland and interstate visitors sharing Caloundra’s great holiday lifestyle and supporting good local jobs.”
Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt thanked Sunshine Coast Council staff for their work to make the area safe.
“The hard work of Council in cleaning up the site has meant this section of Golden Beach was able to reopen to visitors in time for the school holidays,” Mr Hunt said.
“We can’t stop extreme weather, but with all three levels of government working together on investigation and planning, we can deliver a longer-term, sustainable resolution for Golden Beach residents and visitors.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the January 2022 breakthrough at Bribie Island created a very dynamic and fast-changing environment in the Pumicestone Passage.
“This resulted in the exposure of asbestos and other hazardous materials at Onslow Street, Golden Beach,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Community safety is Council’s top priority, so we are pleased to be able to partner with the Queensland Government on this seawall repair project.
“On behalf of Divisional Councillor Terry Landsberg and Council, I would like to thank the community for their patience as we continue to work with the Queensland Government through this complex project.”
On-site remediation works have already been undertaken to make the site safe. Temporary fencing will remain on the site until the works are completed, and regular collection of the debris will continue to be undertaken by Sunshine Coast Council, which will be responsible for the delivery of the $4.5 million repair works.
A Project Control Group (PCG) will be formed with representatives from Council, the Department of Resources, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS).
The PCG will oversee the delivery of this complex project which requires careful consideration of the potential future impacts of the tidal breakthrough at Bribie Island in the Pumicestone Passage. This matter requires significant consideration, due diligence and planning to occur prior to construction commencing to ensure a sustainable outcome for the local community and environment is achieved.
Image: Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe with Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and Cr Terry Landsberg at Golden Beach