Moffat Beach Seawall Repair Project
  • Last updated:
  • 31 May 2022

The Moffat Beach Seawall was damaged during February’s severe weather event. Rocks can fall onto the beach at any time. Please stay clear.

Project scope

Cracks have appeared at the top of the wall and some sections are beginning to subside. Independent geotechnical and coastal engineers are being engaged to assess the damage and recommend solutions.

Project update

The investigation found that approximately 80 metres of the seawall has been damaged which includes slumping of a 30-metre section of the wall and cracking in other sections.

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

The report recommended immediate short-term work to make the slumping section of the wall safe again for our community, while a carefully designed long-term repair solution for the reminder of the damaged section is developed, including replacement of park infrastructure and beach accesses.

Short-term emergency repair solution

The Moffat Beach seawall will be repaired in stages in line with current Australian Standards and guidelines for coastal engineering.

Council’s urgent priority is to ensure the Moffat Beach foreshore area is safe for our community, so the first stage will focus on emergency temporary repairs to the wall to stop further damage.

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Rocks will be removed from the top of the wall to reduce the weight and pressure bearing down on the base on the wall – also known as a toe.

The toe will be reinforced and made wider to prevent the rocks from sliding out onto the beach.

In addition, the rocks along the wall will be rearranged to achieve a gentler slope and spread the weight of the rock 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. Fabric will be placed on top of the exposed dirt to stop more erosion.

The new temporary wall will look different to the existing wall as it will be wider with a gentler slope. It’s only temporary and this won’t be the finished product.

The beach access ramps, and stair accesses will remain closed as these need to be completely rebuilt. This won’t happen until the second stage of major works, likely to occur later in 2022.

The beach access stairs and shower will be removed during the emergency work and rebuilt during the major works. All park seating in the exclusion area will be removed during construction and some will be reinstalled immediately after the works have finished, with the rest of the tables and benches being installed later during the major works.

Unfortunately, some vegetation will need to be removed as part of the short-term work.

Norfolk Pine Tree removal

Unfortunately, as part of the repair work, two nearby Norfolk Pines will need to be removed.

We know the trees along the Moffat Beach foreshore are extremely important to our community, and every scenario has been explored to keep the trees.

However, the seawall needs to be made wider and the soil at the top of the wall needs to be removed to make the seawall 100 per cent safe for our entire community.

This will encroach into the structural 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. Council will not take this risk.

A risk assessment has been carried out by an Arborist against the Australian Standard AS4970:2009 Protection of Trees on Development Sites.

A pandanus tree will also need to be pruned as part of the work.

A spotter catcher will inspect the trees for wildlife before any work takes place.

More shade trees will be planted as part of the final work later in the year.

Short-term repair timeframe

Work is underway but has taken longer than expected due to the weather conditions. We are working as quickly as possible to repair the wall.

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.

We apologise for the inconvenience during construction and thanks the community for their patience as we work to make the foreshore area safe for everyone.

Disabled car parking

Two disabled car parks have been temporarily relocated during the work. 

More information

The engineers designing emergency repair work have worked hand in hand with a geotechnical engineer and considered all options to try and keep the trees.

To avoid the two Norfolks entirely, the footprint of the wall would need to extend significantly further seaward. We would need approval from the Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Science (DES) to be able to do this. DES have advised that, in their view, this will impact on coastal processes which they are not supportive of.

This would also have a significant impact of the amount of available beach in this area.

The structural root zone of the trees is about 2.8 metres in diameter. The emergency work to repair the wall will take place within this structural root zones of the trees. This will reduce the stability of the trees leading to a high risk that the trees could fall over – a risk council is not willing to take.

In the end, due to the size of the trees and the structural root zone, we are unable to both make the wall safe again and keep the trees.


An arborist has advised that it’s very unlikely the trees would recover from this due to the tree species. The work would also cause significant damage to the roots of the trees.

To avoid the two Norfolks entirely, the footprint of the wall would need to extend significantly further seaward. We would need approval from the Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Science (DES) to be able to do this. DES have advised that, in their view, this will impact on coastal processes which they are not supportive of. and would not approve .

This would also have a significant impact of the amount of available beach in this area.

The structural root zone of the trees is about 2.8 metres in diameter. The emergency work to repair the wall will take place within this structural root zones of the trees. This will reduce the stability of the trees leading to a high risk that the trees could fall over – a risk council is not willing to take.

In the end, due to the size of the trees and the structural root zone, we are unable to both make the wall safe again and keep the trees.

Can you cut the trees down to a smaller size?
An arborist has advised that it’s very unlikely the trees would recover from this due to the tree species. The work would also cause significant damage to the roots of the trees.

Do the trees have any specific heritage?
We think the trees were planted around 1930s. We’ve investigated and can’t find any specific reason for their planting. If you know more or a reason, please let us know.

Will you be rebuilding this section of the wall again later in the year or is this the finished product?
This is not the final product. We are currently working through the final design to fix the remainder of the seawall which we anticipate will be constructed late in the year. This section will be rebuilt at that time in line with the final design.

Can you reopen the boat ramp?
The ramp has significantly cracked so needs repairs. This will take place during the major repair works later in the year. It’ll remain closed until then.

Will you replace the table and chairs?
We are looking into a short-term temporary solution for providing seating in this area until the major work can be complete later in the year. Plaques were found on two of the chairs facing the ocean. These will be replaced in a similar spot and similar location after the work is finished.

 

To avoid the two Norfolks entirely, the footprint of the wall would need to extend significantly further seaward. We would need approval from the Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Science (DES) to be able to do this. DES have advised that, in their view, this will impact on coastal processes which they are not supportive of. and would not approve .

This would also have a significant impact of the amount of available beach in this area.

The structural root zone of the trees is about 2.8 metres in diameter. The emergency work to repair the wall will take place within this structural root zones of the trees. This will reduce the stability of the trees leading to a high risk that the trees could fall over – a risk council is not willing to take.

In the end, due to the size of the trees and the structural root zone, we are unable to both make the wall safe again and keep the trees.

Can you cut the trees down to a smaller size?
An arborist has advised that it’s very unlikely the trees would recover from this due to the tree species. The work would also cause significant damage to the roots of the trees.

Do the trees have any specific heritage?
We think the trees were planted around 1930s. We’ve investigated and can’t find any specific reason for their planting. If you know more or a reason, please let us know.

Will you be rebuilding this section of the wall again later in the year or is this the finished product?
This is not the final product. We are currently working through the final design to fix the remainder of the seawall which we anticipate will be constructed late in the year. This section will be rebuilt at that time in line with the final design.

Can you reopen the boat ramp?
The ramp has significantly cracked so needs repairs. This will take place during the major repair works later in the year. It’ll remain closed until then.

Will you replace the table and chairs?
We are looking into a short-term temporary solution for providing seating in this area until the major work can be complete later in the year. Plaques were found on two of the chairs facing the ocean. These will be replaced in a similar spot and similar location after the work is finished.

 
We think the trees were planted around 1930s. We’ve investigated and can’t find any specific reason for their planting. If you know more or a reason, please let us know.
This is not the final product. We are currently working through the final design to fix the remainder of the seawall which we anticipate will be constructed late in the year. This section will be rebuilt at that time in line with the final design.

The ramp has significantly cracked so needs repairs. This will take place during the major repair works later in the year. It’ll remain closed until then.

We are looking into a short-term temporary solution for providing seating in this area until the major work can be complete later in the year. Plaques were found on two of the chairs facing the ocean. These will be replaced in a similar spot and similar location after the work is finished.