Adapting our planning to help us adapt

Ms Phebe Bicknell1

1Alluvium, Cremorne, Australia


From the highly urbanised south east coast, tourism hubs bordering the Great Barrier Reef, agricultural and industrial centres, through to remote regional coastal communities along the Gulf, Queensland’s regions are diverse.

Many coastal Councils are working to define local coastal hazards, vulnerabilities and risks, and improve planning so they are better prepared to manage their coastal areas and potential hazard impacts, both now and into the future. It is important that we maximise the opportunities and additional benefits provided through developing strategic plans, to ensure we are better prepared to adapt to a changing climate.

This presentation reflects on working with a wide range of Councils across these different settings, and what adaptation looks like in practice for strategic planning, risk and asset management, and short and long term initiatives.


Phebe has led and contributed to key coastal studies throughout Australia, and is currently working with numerous coastal councils in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to develop plans and strategies to assist in medium to long-term coastal planning. She appreciates many of the challenges faced in the management of our coastal environments, from technical aspects such as coastal flooding, sediment transport, beach and cliff erosion, water quality, to the impacts of climate change, combined with managing the expectations and values of stakeholders and communities. With a passion for using and communicating technical outcomes in meaningful ways, she sees strong engagement integral to the success of managing our coasts.