Sunshine Coast Council has agreed to replace the Maroochy River groyne field, with geobags.
In January this year, council considered a report into replacing the geobags at Maroochy River, at which time Mayor Mark Jamieson successfully moved a motion to conduct broader community consultation prior to council making a decision.
Mayor Jamieson said council had weighed the relative costs associated with each option to replace the groyne field, taking on feedback received during the extensive community consultation process.
Subsequent to the consultation sessions, councillors conducted a visit to the Maroochy River and inspected the current geobag structures and the Maroochy River Estuary Consultation Group (MRECG) has held a number of meetings and received representations from local residents and community groups.
“Through an extensive consultation process, we have had the opportunity to examine the multifaceted cost-benefit analysis of the range of options, and we have found that there is a relatively minor difference in costs over a 50 year timeframe between replacing the existing groynes with new geobags or the alternative option of rock,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We have also seen a wide cross section of the community come together to share their views with council and help us shape the future of this iconic area.
“In addition to the 10 submissions to the MRECG, council received 843 responses to its online survey. More than 350 people attended community consultation sessions, along with local councillors.”
“Council appreciates the Maroochy River is a distinct waterway, with a history that demonstrates the constantly changing nature of the coastal processes.
“It is also important to acknowledge that the Maroochy River entrance remains the only place in Australia to use this technology in such a high-energy coastal environment.
“We now have the opportunity to investigate whether there are any improvements in technology or fabric that may assist us in this task.
“What remains undisputed is the need to renew and replace the existing groynes that are clearly showing signs of structural failure and wear and tear, to provide effective protection of existing assets for the benefit of the community.
“I thank my fellow councillors for supporting my request for extended consultation, the officers who undertook the community engagement and the residents for their feedback.
“I also acknowledge and thank the assistance of the MRECG members, ably led by independent chair Emeritus Professor John Martin.”
Council will now begin the process of seeking state approvals and working through specific modelling and design work to replace the structures, with construction expected to commence in the 2019/20 financial year.