Townsville coastlines restored after 2019 floods

Date published: 22 March 2022

More than 55,000m³, or 4,500 large tipper truckloads, of sand and 1,500 coastal plants have been used to restore badly eroded coastlines in the Townsville region following the unprecedented 2019 monsoon.

The recently completed Coastal Environment Recovery Program has helped rebuild five of the most affected coastlines damaged three years ago during the significant rain event.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the $1.7 million project was jointly funded by Townsville City Council and the Australian and Queensland governments’ Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“Council contributed $200,000 towards the project, and the remaining $1.5 million was funded from DRFA payments,” Cr Hill said.

“Council engaged more than 20 local businesses to help carry out the coastline restorative work across Townsville and Magnetic Island coastlines.

The 2019 weather event was the largest rainfall event in the Townsville catchment in more than a century and led to widespread flooding across the region.

Cr Hill said that more than 850,000 megalitres of rainfall were recorded during the event.

“This not only caused flooding for the city but also led to significant erosion at many of our beaches and coastal communities.

“Around Townsville, more than 30,000m³ of coarse sand from the Ross River has been repurposed to replenish the beach and rebuild dunes at Rowes Bay.

“This has helped to reduce transport costs and carbon emissions from previous sand-extraction sites located further from Townsville, which is a key objective in support of Council’s corporate plan and promotes a circular economy, and importantly contributes directly to improve flood mitigation along Ross River.

“At Cungulla, work was carried out to rebuild a dune buffer zone and more than 200m of the beach.

“Significant erosions and shifting of sand also occurred on Magnetic Island where sand was transferred from Gustav Creek to Nelly Bay to repair the damage.

“At the Horseshoe Bay Esplanade, about 6,500m³ of beach sand was bought in to rebuild 260m of dunes along with coastal plant revegetation.

“West Point Esplanade benefited with a new 35 to 40m wide dune buffer zone behind the top of the beach.

“Council will also continue to monitor these locations and carry out any future necessary restorative work,” Cr Hill said.

For more information on the Coastal Environmental Recovery Program, go to Recovery Information.