Moffat Beach seawall temporary fix starts today
  • Wednesday 20 April 2022
Norfolk Pine at Moffat Beach 2022

Sunshine Coast Council will start emergency repair works today (Wednesday, April 20) to temporarily fix the Moffat Beach seawall to ensure it’s safe for our community.

It comes as council immediately cordoned off the area and alerted the community to avoid the Moffat Beach seawall following February’s severe weather event.

Independent geotechnical and coastal engineers were engaged to assess the damage to the seawall and provide repair solutions.

The investigation found approximately 80 metres of the seawall had been damaged which included slumping of a 30-metre section of the wall and significant cracking in other areas.

The beach access ramp and nearby beach stairs are also within the failure area of the wall and are unsafe for public access.

The report recommended immediate work to make the slumping section of the wall safe in the short-term, to allow time to develop a carefully designed, long-term repair solution, including repairs to park infrastructure and beach accesses.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 2 Councillor Terry Landsberg said council’s priority was to make the Moffat Beach foreshore safe for the community.

“Repairing the seawall presents an opportunity to create an even better and more usable outcome for the area in the future, but we urgently need to first ensure it’s safe for our entire community and visitors to the region,” Cr Landsberg said.

“The first stage of work will focus on temporary repairs to the wall to stop the crack expanding and the seawall failing further.

“When it’s finished, the temporary wall will look different to the existing wall as it will be wider with a gentler slope.

“This won’t be the final product as in the background council is developing a plan to fix the remainder of the damaged wall, which is about 80 metres in total. This section will be rebuilt again as part of that project.”

During the emergency work, rocks will be removed from the top of the wall to reduce the weight and pressure bearing down on the base of the wall – also known as a “toe”.

The “toe” will be reinforced and made wider to prevent the wall sliding further onto the beach.

The rocks will be rearranged along the wall to achieve a gentler slope, spreading the weight of the wall out over a wider surface area.

The soil at the top of the wall will also need to be removed and formed into a gentle slope and fabric will be placed on top of the exposed dirt to stop more erosion.  

The beach access and ramp will remain closed as these need to be completely rebuilt, which will occur during the second stage of major works later in the year.

When finished, most of the area will be open again to the public while stage two is designed.

Cr Landsberg said regrettably some vegetation would need to be removed as part of the short-term repair work.

“Unfortunately, as part of the repair work, it’s essential that two nearby Norfolk Pines will need to be removed but more shade trees will be planted during the major rebuild of the wall towards the end of the year,” Cr Landsberg said.

“We know the trees along the Moffat Beach foreshore are extremely important to our community, and every scenario has been explored to avoid this necessary step.

“However, to make the seawall safe, it needs to be made wider and soil at the top of the wall needs to be removed.

“This will encroach into the structure root zone of two nearby Norfolk Pine trees.

“If the structural root system is damaged, it’s highly likely that in future high wind or storm events, these trees would fall landward across the footpath, park and car park potentially causing severe injury, even death, to any person nearby.

“Obviously this is not something council is willing to risk, particularly with nearby playgrounds, carparks and many people frequenting the area. Everyone’s safety is our top priority.

“Council apologises for the inconvenience during construction and thanks the community for their patience as we work to make the foreshore area safe for everyone.”

Major works are scheduled to begin today, April 20, 2022, and are expected to take up to four weeks to complete, weather permitting.

Excavators and machinery will be working from the park and the beach, and traffic control will be on site for everyone’s safety.

The car park will need to be closed on occasion.

An assessment of the potential risk to the Norfolk Pine Trees has been carried out by an Arborist against the Australian Standard AS4970:2009 Protection of Trees on Development Sites.

A pandanus tree will need to be pruned as part of the work. A spotter catcher will inspect the trees for wildlife before any work begins.

More information is available at sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/mbseawall