Adapting Swansea: Planning for future flood risks

WHAT WILL SWANSEA AND CAVES BEACH LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

Over the last year, the community has come together with the help of local volunteers to tackle future flood risks and inundation in Swansea, Caves Beach and the surrounding area. Together we have brainstormed and asessed options, and put forward the best for further investigation and a cost benefit analysis with the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.

In 2020, with the report on the feasibility of options and the results of the cost benefit analysis, Council and the Community Working Group will develop a draft Local Adaptation Plan for Swansea and Surrounds. Once prepared, the community will be asked to share their feedback to get it right for our community.

The Project

Living by the coast and lake in Swansea is a great lifestyle, and it is important that we manage this dynamic environment and plan for the future.

Lake Macquarie is a tidal lake, so water levels are expected to rise at the same rate as the ocean. Swansea has many low-lying areas that are already impacted by flooding or inundation during king tides. As sea levels rise, the number of properties exposed to storm flooding and/or tidal inundation, and the frequency of these natural events, will increase.

Council is committed to keeping our community safe from climatic events into the future. Decisions we make now can have lasting impacts. New roads, drains and homes built today will still be around in 50 to 100 years, so we have to plan for the future now.

Read the latest hazard summaries for Swansea and surrounds.

WHAT WILL SWANSEA AND CAVES BEACH LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

Over the last year, the community has come together with the help of local volunteers to tackle future flood risks and inundation in Swansea, Caves Beach and the surrounding area. Together we have brainstormed and asessed options, and put forward the best for further investigation and a cost benefit analysis with the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.

In 2020, with the report on the feasibility of options and the results of the cost benefit analysis, Council and the Community Working Group will develop a draft Local Adaptation Plan for Swansea and Surrounds. Once prepared, the community will be asked to share their feedback to get it right for our community.

The Project

Living by the coast and lake in Swansea is a great lifestyle, and it is important that we manage this dynamic environment and plan for the future.

Lake Macquarie is a tidal lake, so water levels are expected to rise at the same rate as the ocean. Swansea has many low-lying areas that are already impacted by flooding or inundation during king tides. As sea levels rise, the number of properties exposed to storm flooding and/or tidal inundation, and the frequency of these natural events, will increase.

Council is committed to keeping our community safe from climatic events into the future. Decisions we make now can have lasting impacts. New roads, drains and homes built today will still be around in 50 to 100 years, so we have to plan for the future now.

Read the latest hazard summaries for Swansea and surrounds.

  • Introducing the Swansea CBD Tidal Gates Pilot

    3 months ago
    Bowman street flooding photo

    We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a grant in 2019 which is proudly funded by the NSW Government as part of their Increasing Resilience to Climate Change grants for the trial of tidal gates at Swansea. The key objective of the tidal gate pilot is to protect Swansea Central Business District (CBD) from increasingly frequent tidal inundation from rising sea levels, as well as increasing storm surges resulting from climate change.

    Swansea CBD has experienced nuisance flooding due to seasonal king tides and storm surge for a number of years.

    The tidal gates pilot was identified...

    We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a grant in 2019 which is proudly funded by the NSW Government as part of their Increasing Resilience to Climate Change grants for the trial of tidal gates at Swansea. The key objective of the tidal gate pilot is to protect Swansea Central Business District (CBD) from increasingly frequent tidal inundation from rising sea levels, as well as increasing storm surges resulting from climate change.

    Swansea CBD has experienced nuisance flooding due to seasonal king tides and storm surge for a number of years.

    The tidal gates pilot was identified as something that could be done now to have immediate benefit to the local community by providing a short-term solution to prevent nuisance tidal inundation in Swansea CBD.

    Key milestones for the project include:

    • Identifying suitable sites to install the gates,
    • Undertaking 2D Stormwater modelling and an in-house analysis of the viability of installing tidal gates at various locations within the CBD,
    • Developing a consultants brief for the detailed design and installation of the gates,
    • Developing a community and stakeholder communications and engagement plan to inform and help spread lessons learnt from the project.

    With the continued support of the NSW Government and you all, we are eager to continue to the progress of the Swansea Tidal Gate Pilot. If you would like further information on the Pilot Project, contact the project team on 02 4921 0333.


    Image: Tidal inundation on Bowman Street in January 2018.



    This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government and supported by Local Government NSW.








  • Thanks to the community for a successful 2019!

    3 months ago
    Canva image swansea pelican blacksmiths wrap up 2

    We’ve had a massive year in Local Adaptation Planning and we are very proud to collaborate with our volunteer working groups and the local communities to plan for future flood risks and build resilience in our City.

    It was only August last year, when the residents and businesses in Swansea, Caves Beach and the surrounding areas embarked on local adaptation planning. In 16 months, local residents and the joint Council and Community Volunteer Working Group have identified local flooding and inundation risks, considered options for mitigation and shortlisted options for our unique landscape, so Swansea can continue to thrive.

    One...

    We’ve had a massive year in Local Adaptation Planning and we are very proud to collaborate with our volunteer working groups and the local communities to plan for future flood risks and build resilience in our City.

    It was only August last year, when the residents and businesses in Swansea, Caves Beach and the surrounding areas embarked on local adaptation planning. In 16 months, local residents and the joint Council and Community Volunteer Working Group have identified local flooding and inundation risks, considered options for mitigation and shortlisted options for our unique landscape, so Swansea can continue to thrive.

    One of the greatest successes this year was the community options workshop, which was attended by more than 100 people.

    Our Pelican and Blacksmiths Community LAP Working Group has been very supportive of the Adapting Swansea project and the groups have now joined together with Council to oversee a more detailed options feasibility assessment and cost benefit analysis of the shortlisted options.

    We would like to thank our Community LAP Working Group volunteers and local residents for all of their contributions this year and acknowledge the shared commitment to working together to build a stronger future for these areas.

    The Detailed options feasibility and cost-benefit process will complete the third stage of both projects and inform the development of the local adaptation plans. It’s expected that the two draft plans (LAPs) will be exhibited and considered for adoption by Council in 2020.

    We also wanted to congratulate the winners of our options assessment and feedback competition associated with our Swansea community workshop in August. Paul Kelly won the $75 Event Cinemas prize and Kathleen Luschwitz won the online feedback $30 prize, well done! Thank you to everyone who contributed.

    If you would like ask the Council and Community LAP Working Groups a question or would like any further information, visit Swansea or Pelican/Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Planning sites on Shape Lake Mac or call Council on 49210333.

    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.


    Kind regards,

    The Project Team


  • Local Adaptation Planning hits key milestone for Pelican, Blacksmiths, Swansea and surrounds

    4 months ago

    The two local adaptation planning projects underway for Pelican Blacksmiths and Swansea surrounds have now progressed to a feasibility assessment and state-government required cost benefit analysis.

    In the first stage of the project, the Pelican Blacksmiths and Swansea surrounds communities identified hazards and risks relating to sea level rise and its impacts to local flooding and inundation in their local area.

    Both communities have achieved the second stage milestone by identifying a list of potential options to mitigate these hazards and risks, which were reviewed by the community working groups and presented at community workshops:

    The two local adaptation planning projects underway for Pelican Blacksmiths and Swansea surrounds have now progressed to a feasibility assessment and state-government required cost benefit analysis.

    In the first stage of the project, the Pelican Blacksmiths and Swansea surrounds communities identified hazards and risks relating to sea level rise and its impacts to local flooding and inundation in their local area.

    Both communities have achieved the second stage milestone by identifying a list of potential options to mitigate these hazards and risks, which were reviewed by the community working groups and presented at community workshops:

    Now, Council has engaged Umwelt Environmental and Social Consultants to undertake a detailed feasibility assessment of the options and prepare a cost benefit analysis with Department of Planning Industry and Environment in the coming months.

    The feasibility assessment will ensure that the options considered by Council and the community are technically feasible and comply with planning and regulatory requirements specified in the NSW Coastal Management Framework. The Coastal Management Act 2016 establishes management objectives to each of four coastal management areas that apply across Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea. These include:

    • Coastal wetlands and littoral rainforest areas
    • Coastal vulnerability areas
    • Coastal environment areas
    • Coastal use areas

    The feasibility and cost-benefit process will complete the third stage of the project and inform the development of the local adaptation plans. It’s expected that the two plans will be considered for adoption by Council in 2020.

    The joint Council and community working groups preparing the Local Adaptation Plans will continue to engage with the wider community and share progress and findings of these important assessments.

    Note: our local adaptation plans need to demonstrate compliance with the Coastal Management (CM) Act, which focuses on the ecologically sustainable development of our coastal areas that:

    • protects and enhances sensitive coastal environments, habitats and natural processes
    • strategically manages risks from coastal hazards
    • maintains and enhances public access to scenic areas, beaches and foreshores
    • supports the objectives for our marine environments under the Marine Estate Management Act 2014
    • protects and enhances the unique character, cultural and built heritage of our coastal areas, including Aboriginal cultural heritage.
    If you would like further information about the Adapting Swansea Project, contact the project team on 02 4921 0333 or email AdaptingSwansea@lakemac.nsw.gov.au.

  • Community group dives deep on flooding

    6 months ago
    Members of the adapting swansea community working group custom

    The Community Working Group met with Newcastle Weekly in late July to discuss the community workshop on August 6.

    Featured on page four on the 1 August 2019 edition, the group shared great insight into the flooding issues facing Swansea and surrounds and how these affect the community.



    The Community Working Group met with Newcastle Weekly in late July to discuss the community workshop on August 6.

    Featured on page four on the 1 August 2019 edition, the group shared great insight into the flooding issues facing Swansea and surrounds and how these affect the community.



  • Now released: video of Dr Dennys Angove’s presentation ‘Understanding Climate Change’

    10 months ago
    Dr dennys sunset

    Last year, Council invited Dr Angove to give a Let's Talk presentation on 'Understanding Climate Change' to our community. Listen to the presentation and follow along with the slides to understand how the changing climate is affecting our planet and raising sea levels.

    Please note the sound quality improves after 90 seconds.

    Topics covered include: the atmosphere, the natural greenhouse effect, global warming, trends in greenhouse gas concentrations and the enhancement of the greenhouse effect by anthropogenic emissions.

    Dr Angove is an atmospheric chemist and in August 2014, he retired as a Principal Research Scientist from the CSIRO Energy Flagship...

    Last year, Council invited Dr Angove to give a Let's Talk presentation on 'Understanding Climate Change' to our community. Listen to the presentation and follow along with the slides to understand how the changing climate is affecting our planet and raising sea levels.

    Please note the sound quality improves after 90 seconds.

    Topics covered include: the atmosphere, the natural greenhouse effect, global warming, trends in greenhouse gas concentrations and the enhancement of the greenhouse effect by anthropogenic emissions.

    Dr Angove is an atmospheric chemist and in August 2014, he retired as a Principal Research Scientist from the CSIRO Energy Flagship where he studied the effect of fossil fuel emissions on the formation of smog and ozone in urban atmospheres.


  • Let’s Talk sessions cover flooding, natural disasters in Lake Mac

    11 months ago
    April 2015 storm 1

    Expert talks held in Lake Macquarie next month will help shed light on flooding and tidal inundation risks in Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea, and how residents can prepare for natural disasters.

    Expert talks held in Lake Macquarie next month will help shed light on flooding and tidal inundation risks in Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea, and how residents can prepare for natural disasters.

  • Let’s Talk: Understanding the Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea with Dr David Wainwright

    12 months ago
    Dr david on bg

    Join Dr David Wainwright for an evening to examine the findings of the Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea.

    Monday 13 May, 5.30-7pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment

    Council engaged Salients Pty Ltd to undertake a probabilistic hazard and damages assessment to examine the current and future combined flooding and tidal inundation risks (and damages) for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea. The study will form the basis of a cost benefit and distribution analysis to be undertaken over the coming months.

    There will be an opportunity for a Q&A with...

    Join Dr David Wainwright for an evening to examine the findings of the Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea.

    Monday 13 May, 5.30-7pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment

    Council engaged Salients Pty Ltd to undertake a probabilistic hazard and damages assessment to examine the current and future combined flooding and tidal inundation risks (and damages) for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea. The study will form the basis of a cost benefit and distribution analysis to be undertaken over the coming months.

    There will be an opportunity for a Q&A with Dr Wainwright at the end of the talk.

    No need to RSVP, light refreshments will be provided.

    Bio

    Dr David Wainwright has over 20 years’ experience including positions with state government, recent research positions in academia and many years working as a consultant in coastal and environmental engineering. A substantial proportion of that experience has related to projects on the NSW coast. David is presently a director of Salients Pty Ltd, a consulting firm which he established in 2015.

    David’s work typically covers coastal engineering design, coastal geomorphology and land use planning. David is also broadly familiar with key aspects of coastal ecology, local government management, property law and community consultation.

    His key areas of expertise include risk assessment methods for planning in the face of coastal and flooding hazards and sea level rise, engineering design, numerical modelling, and coastal lagoons. David’s PhD thesis investigated numerical modelling methods to inform management of the entrances to coastal lagoons.

    David has a keen interest and has been involved in the development and application of modern technologies such as remote mapping using drones and laser scanning, the application of innovative methods for more comprehensive coastal monitoring, and the ways in which these technologies can be used alongside numerical modelling.

    He has been a chartered engineer with Engineers Australia since 2001, with membership in the Civil and Environmental Colleges. David provides regular services to that organisation in interviewing individuals applying for chartered membership and acting as a judge for its biannual Engineering Excellence Awards.

    David is presently a conjoint lecturer with the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the coastal engineering research group at the University of Queensland.

    Join us the week prior, Tuesday 7 May, for the first Let’s Talk session: Community evacuation plans and safety during natural disasters with the SES


  • Let’s Talk: Community evacuation plans and safety during natural disasters with the SES

    12 months ago
    Let's talk graphic

    Join local SES and Council representatives for an evening to review community evacuation plans and how to prepare for natural disasters.

    Tuesday 7 May, 5.30-7pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    The presentation will include information about forming effective community evacuation plans, proactive safety actions during natural disasters and the process to develop a Community Action Team for Swansea and surrounding areas with presentations from SES and Council. Each forum will provide a Q&A session with the presenters.

    The forum will focus on

    · Hazards affecting our local community – storms, floods, tsunamis, access during evacuation;

    · Personal safety...

    Join local SES and Council representatives for an evening to review community evacuation plans and how to prepare for natural disasters.

    Tuesday 7 May, 5.30-7pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    The presentation will include information about forming effective community evacuation plans, proactive safety actions during natural disasters and the process to develop a Community Action Team for Swansea and surrounding areas with presentations from SES and Council. Each forum will provide a Q&A session with the presenters.

    The forum will focus on

    · Hazards affecting our local community – storms, floods, tsunamis, access during evacuation;

    · Personal safety and asset protection measures at home or work;

    · Home evacuation plans, safety tips and kits - when and who to call;

    · Businesses – evacuation plans and business continuity plans;

    · What to do and where to go during an evacuation event;

    · Community Action Team (CAT)

    · Q&A with the audience

    No need to RSVP, light refreshments will be provided.

    Join us on Monday 13 May, for the next Let’s Talk session: Understanding the Probabilistic Hazard and Damages Assessment for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea with Dr David Wainwright


  • Learn more about adaptation options for communities

    about 1 year ago
    Swansea bridge and tower image

    How can communities adapt?

    Right now, we’re asking the community about which adaptation options they think will work best in Swansea to address the hazards and potential impacts of rising sea and lake levels. But you might ask what options are available to help communities adapt?

    The Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) provides information about adaptation planning and options for communities, which greatly support the development of local adaptation plans.

    The Coast Adapt website by NCCARF has a number of resources available to help individuals and coastal communities understand...

    How can communities adapt?

    Right now, we’re asking the community about which adaptation options they think will work best in Swansea to address the hazards and potential impacts of rising sea and lake levels. But you might ask what options are available to help communities adapt?

    The Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) provides information about adaptation planning and options for communities, which greatly support the development of local adaptation plans.

    The Coast Adapt website by NCCARF has a number of resources available to help individuals and coastal communities understand the issues and plan for potential impacts of sea level rise.


    Coast Adapt has four broad categories for options:

    Planning

    Engineering

    Ecosystem management

    Social, community and educational measures


    What's happening with adaptation planning in Swansea?

    Read the latest Adapting Swansea community newsletter (February 2019)


    Take our quick community survey on impacts and identifying adaptation options.


    If you would like further information, contact the Adapting Swansea project team adaptingswansea@lakemac.nsw.gov.au


  • King tides are coming at Christmas

    over 1 year ago
    D08674181  bowman street swansea intersection with plains gully creek and black ned s bay 10.30am 3 january 2018

    Seasonal king tides are expected in the days leading up to Christmas, peaking on Christmas Eve, Monday 24 December at 10.15am in Swansea Channel. If you’re out and about, snap a photo and share it with Council on our Facebook page or email adaptingswansea@lakemac.nsw.gov.au. The tide is best seen along Swansea Channel, east of the Swansea Bridge and areas adjoining Black Neds Bay.

    January king tides are predicted in the days leading up to Tuesday 22 January 2019, peaking in Swansea Channel at around 10.00am.

    The Bureau of Meteorology website details the 2018 and 2019 tide charts for Swansea...

    Seasonal king tides are expected in the days leading up to Christmas, peaking on Christmas Eve, Monday 24 December at 10.15am in Swansea Channel. If you’re out and about, snap a photo and share it with Council on our Facebook page or email adaptingswansea@lakemac.nsw.gov.au. The tide is best seen along Swansea Channel, east of the Swansea Bridge and areas adjoining Black Neds Bay.

    January king tides are predicted in the days leading up to Tuesday 22 January 2019, peaking in Swansea Channel at around 10.00am.

    The Bureau of Meteorology website details the 2018 and 2019 tide charts for Swansea and other measuring stations.

    Want to know more? The Lake Macquarie coastline and Swansea Channel typically experiences annual king tides during December and January and again in June and July. A king tide is a naturally occurring extreme tidal event and a good preview for what sea level rise may look like in the future.

    View the new tides and tidal inundation fact sheet for planning for future flood risks for more information on tides, inundation and king tides.

    Tips for our community during a king tide:

    • Avoid driving through areas that are experiencing tidal inundation and stay out of the water. Remember, salt water can cause corrosion;
    • Continue to monitor tidal events in your local area; and
    • Get involved in adaptation planning with Lake Macquarie City Council. We currently have adaptation plans underway for Swansea, Pelican and Blacksmiths, and Marks Point and Belmont South.

    For further information on king tides, visit the Witness King Tides project by Green Cross Australia at witnesskingtides.org or contact the Local Adaption Planning team on 02 4921 0333. Please note Council will be closed from 12pm Monday 24 December 2018 until Wednesday 2 January 2019.

    Please visit Council online at lakemac.com.au/city/emergencies or NSW State Emergency Service at ses.nsw.gov.au for information on safety during flood and tidal inundation events.