Pelican and Blacksmiths: Planning for Future Flood and Coastal Risks

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Thank you for all of the tidal inundation and flooding survey responses received. We are now reviewing the information to assist us in developing a combined Local Adaptation Plan for Pelican, Blacksmiths, Swansea and surrounds. Please view the initial survey results engagement summary and the follow-up survey results engagement summary.

The impacts of climate change and tidal inundation are expected to develop gradually over coming decades. We are planning for them now so that when the time comes to act, we have a plan in place to mitigate flooding and tidal inundation risks as much as possible.

We’ve recently completed a feasibility assessment on a number of shortlisted adaptation options determined by the joint Council and Community Working Group.

The following online resources are available to provide more information on the feasibility assessment outcomes and upcoming cost benefit analysis.


Thank you for all of the tidal inundation and flooding survey responses received. We are now reviewing the information to assist us in developing a combined Local Adaptation Plan for Pelican, Blacksmiths, Swansea and surrounds. Please view the initial survey results engagement summary and the follow-up survey results engagement summary.

The impacts of climate change and tidal inundation are expected to develop gradually over coming decades. We are planning for them now so that when the time comes to act, we have a plan in place to mitigate flooding and tidal inundation risks as much as possible.

We’ve recently completed a feasibility assessment on a number of shortlisted adaptation options determined by the joint Council and Community Working Group.

The following online resources are available to provide more information on the feasibility assessment outcomes and upcoming cost benefit analysis.


  • King tides are coming at Christmas

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    22 December, 2018
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    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.


  • Leading scientist to unravel climate change mysteries

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    05 October, 2018
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    A former CSIRO Principal Research Scientist will share his expertise on climate change and its links to sea level rises to help raise awareness of the issue in Lake Macquarie.

    Dr Dennys Angove, now a lecturer in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney, will present Understanding the Science of Climate Change, on Wednesday 10 October, aiming to present a complex environmental issue in an interesting and relevant way for Lake Macquarie residents.


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

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    05 October, 2018
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    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.
  • Let's talk: Understanding the science of climate change with Dr Dennys Angove

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    27 September, 2018
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    Join Dr Dennys Angove for an afternoon to explore the science of climate change.

    Wednesday 10 October, 1-2.30pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

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

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

    Bio

    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.

    For 10 years from 2005, Dr Angove lectured in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney and in 2017 he joined the Environmental Humanities Group at the University of NSW as the postgraduate course convener for Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and now continues as a casual lecturer in the course.

    Dr Angove has a GDip.Ed. and a PhD in physical chemistry from Macquarie University. He is a member of the RACI and CASANZ* as well as a volunteer for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. He is actively involved providing science outreach talks to the community on climate change and air quality.

    *RACI = Royal Australian Chemical Institute

    CASANZ =Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand


  • Let's talk: Hazards, risks and precincts in adaptation planning

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    27 September, 2018
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    Join local representatives and Council staff for an afternoon to talk local adaptation planning and learn from the experiences of our previous plans.

    Monday 15 October, 3-4.30pm

    The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    Explore different approaches to adaptation planning and ways to custom the plan to suit the local community’s unique circumstances. The talk will highlight preliminary adaptation concepts developed during the Pelican and Blacksmiths local adaptation planning work and provide more information about sea level rise projections, hazards and associated risks to lakeside and coastal communities.

    Adaptation plans are 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, future plans must be custom built to address the unique environmental landscape of the local area.

    Community involvement is essential to the success of local adaptation planning, this talk is a great opportunity to hear how community representatives and Council have worked together to plan for the future.


  • Upcoming talks in October for planning for future flood risks

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    27 September, 2018
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    Let’s talk: Planning for Future Flood Risks

    Join expert Dennys Angove, local community representatives and Council at two upcoming information talks to better understand the science of climate change and learn more about adaptation planning through the experience of previous plans.

    Understanding the Science of Climate Change with Dr Dennys Angove

    Wednesday 10 October, 1-2.30pm,The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    View more information about this talk.

    Hazards, risks and precincts in adaptation planning

    Monday 15 October, 3-4.30pm, The Swansea Centre, 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea

    View more information about this talk.


    Dr Angove is an atmospheric chemist and previously the Principal Research Scientist from the CSIRO Energy Flagship and atmospheric chemistry lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. Dr Angove has a GDip.Ed. and a PhD in physical chemistry from Macquarie University.


  • Community Workshop engagement summary

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    10 July, 2018
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    In April 2018, community members together with the Volunteer Working Group and Council attended a workshop to review the progress of the community's local adaptation plan (LAP) for Pelican and Blacksmiths. This summary highlights the feedback received at the workshop and identifies the next steps.

    View the Community Workshop engagement summary.

    Look out for the LAP progress report coming soon...


  • Stormwater model for Pelican and Blacksmiths

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    28 June, 2018
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    Council has a responsibility to manage flood-liable land and in order to best understand management approaches we engaged WMAwater to establish a stormwater model suitable detailing the local stormwater flow regime in Pelican and Blacksmiths. View the Pelican and Blacksmiths 2D Stormwater Modelling Report online and if you would like any further information please contact the Adaptation Planning team on council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au.

  • Learn more about 2D stormwater modelling

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    17 May, 2018
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    Council is holding a seminar on 24 May between 10am-noon on the 2D stormwater modelling project that was undertaken by WMA Water for the suburbs of Pelican and Blacksmiths.

    We would like you to join us at Council's Administration Building to learn more about the following topics:

    - What is 2D modelling?

    - Lake flooding and catchment flooding explained

    - What were some of the local stormwater issues explored in this project?

    - What other ways can this tool be used, think Local Adaptation Planning

    - What can Council be doing to record more useful information during the next flood event?

    - Reality check; what are the limitations of this modelling approach?


    Join us this Thursday 24 May

    Time: 10am-noon

    Location: 126-138 Main Road, Speers Point, NSW

    Meeting Location: Committee Room (mezzanine floor)

    RSVP: pbrennan@lakemac.nsw.gov.au by Wednesday 23 May or call 4921 0333

    We are open to taking questions after the event – just send all enquiries to Peter Brennan at pbrennan@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or call 4921 0333.


  • Volunteer Community Planning Group discusses scope of the Local Adaptation Plan

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    19 April, 2017
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    Over the course of several meetings, the Volunteer Community Planning Group discussed how the hazards to be addressed by the Local Adaptation Plan may be experienced in Pelican and Blacksmiths as well as the geographic reach of these hazards.

    A draft scoping map (shown below) has been prepared to inform the preparation of the Local Adaptation Plan. This map may evolve over time as the group progresses.

    This high level map shows generally the areas relevant to the Local Adaptation Plan:

    • developed land (housing, roads, shops, etc.)
    • public recreational land, such as the Pelican foreshore
    • private recreational land, such as the former Pelican Bowling Club
    • land considered to be part of the beach and dunes system
    • other environmental land, such as bush, wetlands, hind dune vegetation near Awabakal Ave
    • the Swansea Channel, the northern Swansea Channel revetment (Blacksmiths "training wall" and breakwater), the "Shallows", sand islands and "dropover"
    • land covered by the Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan

    A key observation of the group was that many issues relevant to Pelican and Blacksmiths are also relevant to Swansea. However it was also recognised that preparing an adaptation for all three areas at the same time would be challenging given the highly collaborative planning process with the community. Lessons learned in preparing the Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Plan are expected to be considered when preparing a plan for Swansea. Likewise, lessons from the now adopted Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan are being considered for the Pelican and Blacksmiths Plan.

    The group also observed that "Pelican and Blacksmiths exist within a complex interaction of marine and terrestrial processes that extend beyond the boundaries of the suburbs. This geographical area is also under the care and control of various levels of government as well as private landowners. The coastal zone as described in the Coastal Management Act 2016 includes coastal wetland and littoral rainforest area, coastal environment area, coastal use area and coastal vulnerability area."

    To help think through these layers of ownership and governance, the group acknowledged the need to consider "spheres of control and influence" to help determine the types of actions and responsibilities to include in the Plan. For example, certain decisions can be made by Council and private landowners. These are within our "sphere of control".

    However, we know that other stakeholders, such as State Government agencies and service providers, are responsible for a lot of public land, infrastructure such as the Pacific Highway, water and sewerage, telecommunications and certain foreshore and Channel protection structures, as well as works programs such as dredging the Channel for navigation and asset maintenance of the Swansea bridge, for example.

    The Local Adaptation Plan can include recommended actions for these stakeholders, but as these are ultimately outside our control, these fall within our "sphere of influence". In other words, landowners and Council can advocate what they see to be the best way forward. For the Plan to be successful, it needs to recognise that some actions within our control may rely on the decisions and actions of others that we can only influence.


      Click map to enlarge








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