Report tackles coastal challenges

District Council of Mallala’s Coastal Adaptations Study is progressing, with a report being tabled at council’s November meeting outlining a number of proposals.

The Coastal Adaptation Study – State of Play Report highlights the risks to each of the council’s four coastal settlements – Middle Beach, Thompson Beach, Webb Beach and Parham.

DCM Infrastructure and Planning Services strategic projects co-ordinator, Carol Muzyk, said the study focused on developing strategies to address rising sea levels, flooding issues and coastal erosion.

The report also aimed to give council a clearer picture of the coastal settlements and to plan for the short and long term future of these settlements.

In the report, five broad options to adapt to rising sea levels are put forward to council:

Protect: use various means such as construction of sea walls, beach sand replenishment or installation of drainage swales to protect existing development;

Accommodate: use means such as raising buildings, protecting buildings from flooding;

Retreat: abandon settlements and move development inland in the face of rising sea levels. The concept of ‘retreat’ is also known as ‘planned retreat’.

Defer: threats have been assessed, and perhaps costs and options analysed but there are valid reasons to wait until to a later date to act.

Do nothing: ignore the risks and do nothing.

“The study started with the gathering of information about the settlement history of the four towns and past flood events,” Ms Muzyk said.

“Council sought help from the community to provide vital information that helped to complete the first of two study reports, namely, The Coastal Settlements Adaptation Study – State of Play Report.

“It’s important to get the community on board and take them on the journey of the study.”

Ms Muzyk said the adaptive solutions would be described in a second report set to be released for public consultation in the New Year.

A workshop will be undertaken in February for the community to hear more about the study and the adaptation strategies proposed.

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