Adapting our planning to help us adapt

Bicknell P1, Brook A

1Alluvium Consulting


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, to help  strengthen the management of 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.

Alluvium worked with 12 councils to develop tailored coastal hazard adaptation projects to meet each council’s needs.  While striving for a leading practice approach, Alluvium investigated a broad range of innovative adaptation measures. These include Living shorelines as nutrient pollution remediators, habitat structures, and hazard buffers, and the Blue Heart, a floodplain transition into an inland wetland system that provides a wide range of ecosystem services.


Phebe is an environmental engineer and scientist with specialist expertise in coastal, marine and estuarine processes and their management. Her strong understanding of these dynamic and complex environments is readily used to inform engineering design, strategic decision making and in communicating technical outcomes in meaningful ways.

Currently leading a range of coastal hazard management, adaptation, and coastal planning projects in Queensland and Victoria, she is assisting coastal councils to develop plans and strategies for medium to long-term coastal planning. She recognises the many challenges faced in managing our marine and coastal environments, including trying to balance natural processes, a changing climate and the expectations and values of stakeholders and communities.