Sunshine Coast Council has been awarded the 2019 Australian Coastal Award for Community Engagement for its Maroochy Groyne Field Renewal Project.
The Australian Coastal Awards were established to acknowledge individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to the Australian coastal environment, settlements and sustainability.
The council’s Maroochy River entrance groyne project is designed to protect the Cotton Tree precinct from erosion.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said council had initiated and undertaken an extensive community engagement process for this project and the results had contributed significantly to Council’s decision on the most suitable option to upgrade the Maroochy River mouth structures.
“Through that engagement process, council was able to facilitate a wide cross section of our community coming together to share their views and help to shape the future of this important area for our region.
“Council initiated the engagement process to ensure we could arrive at an outcome that reflected the interests across our community and our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.
“Council is delighted to have these efforts recognised at a national level, and the acknowledgement must be shared with those members of our community who participated in the public consultation and surveys.”
Mayor Jamieson said the Maroochy River Estuary Consultation Group (MRECG), which Council established to guide the engagement process, was an integral element of the process and contributed greatly to its success.
“Leading this group as independent chair was Professor John Martin, Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University,” he said.
“Council is grateful for the role Professor Martin played with the MRECG and in bringing together various stakeholders, community representatives and specialist experts in this field.”
Professor Martin said he looked forward to assisting council further with important coastal management issues.
“This issue of coastal structures and management is one that countries all over the world are grappling with, and the decisions made by council, with the help of our community, are important to shaping the future of many of the coastal assets on the Sunshine Coast,” Professor Martin said.
“Council knew they had important decisions to make, and they also knew the importance of ensuring the community had a voice.”
Consistent with council’s decision and with the full support of MRECG, council staff have been progressing a range of actions for the ‘like-for-like’ groyne field renewal at Maroochydore.
Works are scheduled to start mid-2020.