Alluvium has been assisting many QLD councils to develop a strategic approach for medium to long  term coastal hazard planning, under QCoast2100 program. Applying the coastal hazard adaptation strategy (CHAS) process, this work allows councils and their communities to better understand potential future impacts from climate change and sea level rise, defining adaptation actions, and engaging stakeholders and the broader community in the process. Our approach has set a new standard, tailoring our assessments on hazards and risk to determine projected effects of climate change, including possible impacts on assets and the local economy, proposing adaptation measures to mitigate impacts; and establishing an implementation program for mitigation measures.

As part of this program, we have been working with Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC), in Cape York develop their Yumpla Coast Strategic Plan. Situated at the northern tip of the Australian mainland continent, NPARC’s coastal areas are home to unique landscape, history and people. Surrounded by tropical seas, with the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west, Torres Strait to the north, and the Coral Sea to the east, the Northern Peninsula Area is a truly distinctive country where both oceans and cultures mix and thrive together. The Injinoo, Umagico, Bamaga, New Mapoon and Seisia communities enjoy safe and easy access to the coast, maintaining important cultural connections to the sea and neighbouring islands.

Engaging with these communities, we found that a different approach was to learn more about what the community valued about their coast. We spent a lot of time talking to community Elders and leaders from each of the different communities about what was important to them and their concerns about their coastline. Through more meaningful engagement, we worked together with each community to document Traditional Owner and First Nations values, goals and aspirations.

We then applied this knowledge to a modified risk assessment approach and shaping tailored strategic responses. This approach allowed the building of strong foundations for on-going collaboration and long-term implementation of coastal adaptation.