Pelican and Blacksmiths: Planning for Future Flood and Coastal Risks

Planning for the future

Over the last year, the community has continued to come together with the help of local volunteers to tackle future flood and coastal risks in Pelican and Blacksmiths. Together we have brainstormed and assessed options, and put forward the best for further investigation and a cost benefit analysis with 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 Pelican and Blacksmiths. 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 is a great lifestyle, and it is important that we manage this dynamic environment where sea and lake levels are gradually rising. Decisions we make now can have lasting impacts. New roads, drains and homes built today will still be around in fifty to one hundred years, so we have to plan for the future now.

Sea levels are rising gradually at a rate of around 2.6mm per year in the lake and off the coast of NSW. Based on the best available information it is expected that mean sea level will rise 0.4 metres above 1990 levels by 2050 and 0.9 metres by 2100. This means the rate of sea level rise is expected to accelerate, but it also allows us to have time to plan and prepare now.

Lake Macquarie City Council continues to meet with residents to listen and talk about opportunities for the community to help plan for the future of the area.

Planning for the future

Over the last year, the community has continued to come together with the help of local volunteers to tackle future flood and coastal risks in Pelican and Blacksmiths. Together we have brainstormed and assessed options, and put forward the best for further investigation and a cost benefit analysis with 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 Pelican and Blacksmiths. 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 is a great lifestyle, and it is important that we manage this dynamic environment where sea and lake levels are gradually rising. Decisions we make now can have lasting impacts. New roads, drains and homes built today will still be around in fifty to one hundred years, so we have to plan for the future now.

Sea levels are rising gradually at a rate of around 2.6mm per year in the lake and off the coast of NSW. Based on the best available information it is expected that mean sea level will rise 0.4 metres above 1990 levels by 2050 and 0.9 metres by 2100. This means the rate of sea level rise is expected to accelerate, but it also allows us to have time to plan and prepare now.

Lake Macquarie City Council continues to meet with residents to listen and talk about opportunities for the community to help plan for the future of the area.

  • Let's talk: Understanding the science of climate change with Dr Dennys Angove

    over 1 year ago
    Dr dennys sunset

    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...

    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

    over 1 year ago
    Swansea aerial

    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...

    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

    over 1 year ago
    1 booragul foreshore   lake   scenic %288%29

    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...

    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

    over 1 year ago
    Dsc 0317b

    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...


    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

    over 1 year ago
    Stormwater model

    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.

    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

    almost 2 years ago
    Pelican blacksmiths 2d photo

    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...

    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

    almost 3 years ago
    Draft pelican and blacksmiths local adaptation plan scoping map

    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...

    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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    • Volunteer Community Planning Group hears from Coastal Experts

      almost 3 years ago
      Q a workshop   dunes whiteboard photo

      In an effort to better understand the hazards a Local Adaptation Plan for Pelican and Blacksmiths will address, the Volunteer Community Planning Group working with Council staff to prepare the Plan requested to hear from experts in coastal dynamics.

      A question and answer session was held in March 2017 with representatives from the NSW State Government agency, the Office of Environment and Heritage.

      Notes recorded during the discussion are now available online.



      In an effort to better understand the hazards a Local Adaptation Plan for Pelican and Blacksmiths will address, the Volunteer Community Planning Group working with Council staff to prepare the Plan requested to hear from experts in coastal dynamics.

      A question and answer session was held in March 2017 with representatives from the NSW State Government agency, the Office of Environment and Heritage.

      Notes recorded during the discussion are now available online.



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    • Video - New flood modelling to help guide planning and adaptation

      almost 3 years ago

      Flood modelling is one tool Council, the community and other stakeholders can use to plan for low-lying places subject to flooding, ineffective drainage and sea level rise over time.

      Flood modelling can be used to simulate the benefits and impacts of different flood mitigation and adaptation options on the community and the environment, such as filling land, raising the floor levels of houses and designing drains differently.

      In March 2017 community representatives from the former Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan working group and the current Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Planning working group were invited to attend...

      Flood modelling is one tool Council, the community and other stakeholders can use to plan for low-lying places subject to flooding, ineffective drainage and sea level rise over time.

      Flood modelling can be used to simulate the benefits and impacts of different flood mitigation and adaptation options on the community and the environment, such as filling land, raising the floor levels of houses and designing drains differently.

      In March 2017 community representatives from the former Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan working group and the current Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Planning working group were invited to attend a presentation on flood modelling recently undertaken for Council.

      Council will use this modelling to help guide planning and local adaptation activities.

      A video of this presentation is now available online:



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    • Blacksmiths resident's dedication recognised

      about 3 years ago
      Img 20170221 200645

      Pelican Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group volunteer, Frank Mieszala was recognised for his hard work and dedication to the Lake Macquarie community at the 2016 Shortland Volunteer Awards in December 2017.

      Frank was nominated for the Environment Volunteer Award for his extensive work on local drainage, flooding and sea level rise issues. Frank is a founding member of the Pelican Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group and makes a significant volunteer contribution to Council’s Local Adaptation Planning projects.

      Strategic Landuse Planner Tom Boyle presents Blacksmiths resident Frank Mieszala with his award at one of the Volunteer Community Planning Group meetings for the Pelican...

      Pelican Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group volunteer, Frank Mieszala was recognised for his hard work and dedication to the Lake Macquarie community at the 2016 Shortland Volunteer Awards in December 2017.

      Frank was nominated for the Environment Volunteer Award for his extensive work on local drainage, flooding and sea level rise issues. Frank is a founding member of the Pelican Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group and makes a significant volunteer contribution to Council’s Local Adaptation Planning projects.

      Strategic Landuse Planner Tom Boyle presents Blacksmiths resident Frank Mieszala with his award at one of the Volunteer Community Planning Group meetings for the Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Planning project.

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