1967 - 1974
Surfers Paradise 1967
Suzie Cai, Amy Chan, Jennifer Huo, Serena Jiang, Amanda Ling, Cassandra Ma
Wamberal and Terrigal
In the 1967-1974 period the erosion along the east coast became such a significant issue that it changed the way Australians thought about coastal management.
Communities became more aware and as a result pressured governments into implementing new systems such as time lapse photography, storm surge recordings and sediment analysis to monitor and maintain the growth and decline of coastal regions. From this information governments began to plan management programs for example beach nourishment.
The NSW coast government who controls a 1100km strip introduced a policy stating 'The efficient management of this land has been plagued by a history of haphazard development and the absence of a clear conservation strategy. This is not acceptable.'
In 1967 5 cyclones and 4 intense low pressure systems caused destructive waves and severe erosion along the Gold Coast. This became a Queensland government priority as locals (property owners and businesspeople) demanded action to protect their interests. In late 1967 the Gold Coast council commissioned the Delft Hydraulics Laboratory of the Netherlands to further investigate the issue.
The Delft Hydraulics Laboratory, as result, generated a report addressing two major issues - long-term erosion caused by waves moving sand along the beaches in a northerly direction and short-term erosion due to offshore onshore movement of material.
The management strategies that were implemented include:
•Beach nourishment programs in an effort to maintain the beaches
which cost millions of dollars
•Rock walls (groynes) built as barriers to prevent long shore drift
•In 1967, a boulder wall was built along the Surfers Paradise esplanade. Despite its interference with the beach's rebuilding, it prevented further damage to infrastructure behind the beach.
In May 2009 a significant east coast low storm hit the Gold Coast region, once again devastating the many beaches which barely survived the 1967 storms. The maximum wind gust recorded was 117 km/h from the south east on 20 May 2009, and the minimum pressure reading was 1008.3 hectoPascals on 21 May 2009.
In response, Gold Coast Beaches developed the BVI (Beach Volume Index), a quantitative ranking of the physical health of Gold Coast beaches. They also established active beach nourishment and management to reduce storm threat and ensured a rapid response from cleap up crews.