Community Group working tirelessly to progress the Pelican Blacksmiths Local adaptation plan to final stage.

Late in 2016, a small group of dedicated residents joined with Council to start developing the Pelican Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Plan. Since that time, the Pelican Blacksmiths Community Working Group has met more than 30 times and spent countless hours helping their community to develop a plan for potential future sea and lake level rise.

The Plan has been designed to address current and future inundation of land and protect assets from sea level rise, higher tides, beach erosion and higher flood levels. Local adaptation plans are created specifically for the local area. It’s not a one size fits all approach and although we learn from previous experience and domestic and international examples, the plan must be custom built to address the unique environmental landscape of the local area. This could not have been achieved without the dedication and commitment of the Community Working Group.

Together, with input from the local community, the Group identified hazards in their local area that needed to be addressed in the plan, including ongoing sea level rise, higher flood levels, higher ocean tides, landward movement of the sand dunes, dune over-topping from wave run-up and storm surge and channel evolution (movement of the channel landward).

The agreed Plan objective was to adapt Pelican and Blacksmiths to the expected effects of sea level rise, in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, so that the community, economy and environment become more resilient.

One of the key successes of the Group was the development of measuring criteria to assess the adaptation options that are feasible and best meet the needs of the community, they include:

  • Does the adaptation option agree with our objective?

  • Will it work technically (does it manage the hazard in line with our objective)?

  • How easy is it to adapt over time? How might it affect other options?

  • Will it harm the environment and are impacts manageable?

  • Does it maintain community well-being (health, safety, financial, business and leisure)?

  • Will costs outweigh benefits?

  • Do we need additional info or advice from experts?

  • When is it needed / best time to implement?

  • Who is responsible? Who pays?

After assessing the adaptation options from the community and further research, the Groupidentified a short-list of recommended adaptation options for unique precincts in the study and planning area. They proposed a timeframe or trigger for when it was best to implement the recommended adaptation options for each precinct.

At a community workshop in April, Council and a number of the Group’s members presented these precincts to the wider community and key project stakeholders for feedback and further ideas. More than 20 community members attended to participate in this process and progress the plan.

The Group has now completed a further review of the precincts, hazards and adaptation options, which are presented in the following documents:

Precinct Planning Adaptation Concepts for Pelican Blacksmiths LAP – this booklet is a progress report on the Plan and explores the recommended precincts in more detail.

Review of Precinct Planning Adaptation Concepts for Pelican Blacksmiths – this report examines the secondary and other available adaptation options for each precinct and provides assessment for each option.

This work by the Group and Council will help inform the probabilistic hazard assessment for Pelican, Blacksmiths and Swansea that is currently being carried out by Salients Pty Ltd and the University of Queensland. Information on the probabilistic hazard assessment and the proposed cost benefit analysis will be available later this year.

The Group has done an outstanding job in identifying and reviewing hazards; assessing options proposed by the community and developing the precinct concepts for use in the next stages of the planning process.

Following the probabilistic hazard assessment and cost benefit assessment, the Group and Council will commence Phase D, in which the draft Local Adaptation Plan will be placed on public exhibition for public review then recommended to Council for adoption and implementation of the Plan.

Please view the Group’s journey timeline.
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