Cairns, a city at risk or opportunity?

Mrs Amanda Jordan1

1Ethos Urban


Cairns Regional Council in partnership with the Queensland Government, is planning to address the effects of a changing climate on the Cairns coastal region via the Our Cairns Coast: Adapting for the future project.

Coastal changes from storm tide inundation, coastal erosion and climate related sea level rise will impact our region – the natural and built environment, our community’s wellbeing, and our economy.

Unique to the Cairns region are:

–              The extent of the area likely to be affected by coastal changes

–              The critical assets impacted compounded with a relatively isolated location (relative to other cities)

–              Cairns city’s role as a tourism gateway and a gateway to the Cape

–              The reliance on a ‘rainforest and reef’ tourist offering

–              Traditional owner connections to country, wealth of knowledge and actions already being undertaken to adapt to change

–              A disaster management awareness and resilient community spirit

This project has taken an engagement focus to bring the community and stakeholders on a journey to identify important assets and values, identify risks and develop contemporary adaptation solutions. Our Cairns Coast aims to celebrate shared values and culture while creating opportunities to build resilience and deliver improved environmental outcomes.