Coastal hazard adaptation study wins award

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19 September 2013

One of the world’s leading engineering, architecture and environmental consulting companies, GHD, has won an Engineers Australia Excellence Award in the Queensland division, for its study of strategies for adapting to potential coastal hazards in Townsville and surrounding communities. The award recognises and rewards our outstanding achievement in the practice of engineering and related services to the profession.

The study shows that parts of the City of Townsville and surrounding coastal communities are under significant threat from coastal hazards over the period from 2012 to 2100. This pilot project represents the first step in identifying practical coastal adaptation strategies for the city that will also be applicable to other regions.

GHD analysed ocean inundation from storm tide events, long-term sea level rise and coastal recession due to erosion as well as the costs and benefits of a range of effective adaption options. The study looked at current climate extremes as well as potential future climates leading up to 2100.

In selecting this project as the award recipient, the judges said it is “a valuable study that will provide useful information and advice for coastal communities throughout Queensland”.

GHD completed the study for the Local Government Association of Queensland and Townsville City Council on behalf of the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, which managed the project, with funding provided by the Australian Government Coastal Adaptation Pathways Program. Additionally, Griffith University Centre for Coastal Management assisted GHD by producing a Compendium of Coastal Adaptation Options for the Queensland coast.

Bruce Harper, GHD’s Service Line Leader for Climate Change says, “This was the first project of this type in Queensland and I am very proud of the work our team is doing to benefit the community, not just today, but well into the future.

“Responding to a changing climate is an increasingly critical area of concern for governments around the world, and locally, Australians are well-versed in risk mitigation strategies. We have completed a number of similar studies around the country that are enabling coastal cities to plan infrastructure and address potential risks.”


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