Moffat Beach Seawall Repair Project
  • Last updated:
  • 18 Oct 2022

The Moffat Beach Seawall was damaged during February’s severe weather event. 

Project scope

Temporary repair works are complete and plans are progressing for major repair works.

Project update

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

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

An independent engineering 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.

Major repair work

Plans for major work to repair the Moffat Beach seawall are progressing. These works will include reinstating the beach access, access ramp, and beach shower as well as further landscaping in the vicinity of the seawall. Work is expected to progress in late 2023 pending the outcome of an application for funding from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

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.

The first stage will focused on emergency temporary repairs to the wall to stop further damage to keep the area safe for our community. This work is now complete.

The new temporary wall look different to the existing wall as it is wider with a gentler slope. It’s only temporary and this isn’t 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 2023.

The beach access stairs and shower will be removed during the emergency work and rebuilt during the major works.

Norfolk Pine Tree removal

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

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

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

This encroached 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 was not willing to take that risk.

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

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

Short-term repair timeframe

Work was completed in June 2022 but took longer than expected due to the weather conditions and the short supply of rock at the time. We thank the community for its support during these works.

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.