Bribie Island Breakthrough Action Plan
  • Last updated:
  • 09 Aug 2022

The Bribie Island Breakthrough Action Plan[12009KB] has been in place since 2014.

It lists the threats to the Golden Beach foreshore in the event of a breakthrough at Bribie Island. It includes the actions to help council reduce these impacts.

Overview

Our actions focus on protecting Golden Beach foreshore. As well as the important community areas like roads, parks, and playgrounds.

The Queensland Government is responsible for the management and monitoring of Bribie Island as it is a National Park. We offer support to the Queensland Government as needed.

Guided by this plan, we have been preparing for a breakthrough at Bribie Island since 2014. Our actions to date include:

  • Sand renourishment - annual dredging of the Pumicestone Passage to renourish the sand along Golden Beach.
  • Monitoring - regular monitoring of the area through beach surveys along Golden Beach. This provides a long term and reliable source of data, used as a base for decisions.
  • Infrastructure upgrades - replacing the degraded geotextile bag groynes with rock structures at Oxley Street, Leichardt Street, Wills Avenue and Jellicoe Street. These rock structures:
    • help to keep more sand in place
    • limit the channel moving further west
    • give the structures a longer life.

We have also upgraded some degraded seawalls along the foreshore around Jellicoe Street, Tripcony Lane and Lamerough Canal entrance.

Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy

This action plan also aligns with the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy, which aims to better understand and plan for current and future impacts of coastal hazards and identify innovative management options to make our coastal areas and communities more resilient.

It lists the key hazards at coastal locations across the Sunshine Coast and the adaptation response.

For the Pumicestone Passage and Golden Beach, this includes:

  • a focus on maintenance and upgrade of groynes and seawall infrastructure
  • reviewing planning controls
  • encouraging resilient homes
  • drainage investigations
  • beach nourishment and coordination of risk mitigation at Fraser Park.

Due to the breakthrough, water level monitoring has shown increases equivalent to 2041 conditions. The CHAS outlines our response, and the actions above are already underway.

See page 98 to 109 of Part A of the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy for more information on Golden Beach management options.

Updates

The January 2022 breakthrough at Bribie Island has created a very dynamic and fast changing environment in the Pumicestone Passage. Council is watching closely and responding to as its able.

July 2022 update

Monitoring: the most recent surveys are found below:

June 2022 survey – northern section 1
June 2022 survey – mid section 2
June 2022 survey – southern section 3

Sand renourishment: Council will analyse recent surveys and on-site observations to determine future requirements for sand nourishment dredging work and also take into consideration its dredge permit conditions. As the recent June 2022 surveys show many areas of gain, council does not expect to undertake nourishment along the foreshore at this stage.

Observations: The volume increase in sand in the northern section of Golden Beach is consistent with the low energy (low currents and low waves) environment that it is currently under due to the increased sand banks immediately in front of the southern breakthrough.

It is encouraging that no nourishment activities were performed from Lamerough creek to Bells Creek and it is not showing signs of increasing erosion which means it is relatively stable at the moment.

As the sands shift and the entrances stabilise it will be imperative to continue to monitor the foreshore to understand and changes. 

June 2022 update

Observations: the width of the southern breakthrough has been steadily increasing and is approximately 500m wide. The northern breakthrough area of the Pumicestone Passage has also begun to narrow and tidal flows in this area are slowing.

Sand bars along the length of the Pumicestone Passage have been changing since the breakthrough and will continue to change as conditions stabilise. The sand bars to the west of the southern breakthrough have been increasing since February and we ask all our powered and non-powered watercraft users to take care and regularly check the MSQ website for updates.

Tide heights and timings in the Pumicestone Passage are continuing to change and it is still too early to confidently tell the extent they have altered. Tides are dependent on many factors such as the width of the entrances, the sand bars in the delta, storm/wave surges and barometric pressure.

Sand renourishment

In response to the erosion on the northern area of Golden Beach, we regularly replenishing sand along the northern beaches by dredging sand from the passage as the weather allows through dredging.

The dredge focuses on replenishing sand to council-managed areas affected by erosion.

The work schedule is weather dependent, as the dredge can only work when the tide, current, wind and wave conditions are right.

Monitoring

Regular monitoring of the area through beach surveys along Golden Beach to provide a long term and reliable source of data is used as a base for decisions.

The February 2022 surveys show that from December 2021 – February 2022 there was:

  • 1320m3 of sand lost from Oxley Street to TS Onlsow
  • 20m3 of sand lost from the Power Boat Club beaches
  • 380m3 of sand gained from Lamerough Creek to Bells Creek.

February 2022 survey – northern section 1[17175KB]
February 2022 survey – mid section 2[1681KB]
February 2022 survey – southern section 3[10633KB]

The June 2022 surveys show that from February 2022 – June 2022 there was:

  • 1,710m3 gained from Oxley Street to Nelson Street
  • 550m3 gained from the Power Boat Club
  • 320m3 lost from Lamerough creek to Bells Creek

Tidal gauge

We have installed a tidal gauge at Military Jetty which we use to measure the level of the tides. This gauge will then allow us to scientifically determine the changes in water level within the Pumicestone Passage at Golden Beach, as a result of the Bribie Island break through. Check out the real time tidal data here

We are also monitoring the area via aerial satellite images, as shown in the below video.

Stormwater Pipes

The shifting sands in the passage may accumulate at the end of stormwater pipes from time to time. If you notice a stormwater pipe that is blocked with sand, you may contact customer service to let council officers know and we will inspect to determine the course of work.

Infrastructure upgrades

This year we will upgrade the seawall south of Jellicoe Street to Nelson Street. This will protect the valuable park, road and amenities block immediately next to the seawall.

Cleaning up

Our crews have been working hard after each high tide to clean up the Golden Beach foreshore. Unfortunately, as the next high tide rolls in, it also brings with it more debris and sand.

We ask for your patience as we continue to work hard to have the area clean for your enjoyment.

Dead tree removal

There has been a big loss of trees and other plants at the Bribie Island breakthrough site. This has resulted in a lot more debris above and below the high-water mark.

This vegetation, even when dead, is considered a marine plant by Queensland Government legislation. It can only be removed in special circumstances. This could include for public safety or because it’s damaging an approved erosion structure. If the plant debris is in the water, it can only be removed by Marine Safety Queensland if it is in a marked navigation channel.

If you think a piece of vegetation should be removed please lodge the details via our online service request form.

TS Onslow site, 101 Esplanade, Golden Beach

We are aware of the site erosion at TS Onslow. The landowner (Queensland Government) and lease holder (Naval Cadets) are responsible for this area.

We have been on site, helping to make it safe and have put warning signage up. As this is Queensland Government land, we will continue to offer support and guidance as necessary.

Further investigations underway guided by the CHAS

We do need the Pumicestone Passage to settle before we can have a complete understanding of the impact on the Golden Beach foreshore. At the same time guided by the CHAS, we are also investigating:

  • the potential impact on the stormwater and drainage network
  • any ongoing impact to some of the foreshore picnic tables, seating and pathways
  • any ongoing impact on the health and growth of grass and trees along the foreshore from the ocean water
  • the best ways to manage the sand and debris clean-ups.

In the meantime, please follow signage and temporary fencing for your own safety.

Community meetings

Community meetings are being organised through the Member for Caloundra’s office and we will attend when invited, along with the Queensland Government.

Where to from here

We will continue to update our community through this webpage.