Government Funding Research to Save Queensland Beaches

The Palaszczuk Government is funding research to help save Queensland’s iconic beaches from extreme weather events, the Queensland Government said in its latest announcement. 

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said that the funding is part of the $9.85 million awarded to 53 researchers under the Advance Queensland Research Fellowship and PhD Scholarship programs.

“In any given year, Queensland is exposed to a range of natural disasters including cyclones, dangerous storms and floods – especially in tropical environments,” Ms Enoch said.

“Our beaches can become vulnerable to coastal erosion and tidal inundation, so it’s important we have sustainable coastal management solutions in place to preserve our precious coastal areas.

“This project looks at how we build resilience and manage climate risk for Queensland beaches, particularly in extreme weather events.”

Griffith University’s Centre for Coastal Management Research Manager, Dr Darrell Strauss, was awarded $300,000 over three years under the Advance Queensland Research Fellowship program.

His research will be conducted on Gold Coast beaches in partnership with the City of Gold Coast.

Dr Strauss is working to develop an efficient way to protect shorelines against beach erosion by pumping sand into nearshore zones.

The Queensland coast is exposed to a wide range of different wave heights and directions, so the beaches are constantly changing their shape,” Dr Strauss said.

“Erosion events have always gained a lot of interest, however, measurements and understanding of recovery rates and impacts of artificial beach replenishments are still scarce.

“During periods of increased storm activity, coastal areas are more likely to experience several storm events in a short amount of time, reducing the time for natural beach recovery between events.

“This is when we see the biggest threat to coastal infrastructure through erosion of our natural barriers.

“My research will focus on more efficient sand placement strategies to reduce operational costs and the frequency of repeated beach nourishment campaigns.”

Dr Strauss began his PhD research in 2004, looking at how Gold Coast beaches respond to different wave events, and has since published 27 academic reports on coastal management, monitoring and engineering.