Category Archives: Australian Coastal Councils Association

Results – Survey of impacts of Airbnb and similar online rental platforms

As a result of concerns expressed by some coastal councils about the effects of rapid growth in listings on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz the Association conducted a survey into the impact of short-term holiday rental services on coastal communities.

The survey was developed in association with Professor Nicole Gurran, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney. Professor Gurran is co-author of a study into the effectiveness of local planning controls in relation to properties listed on online platforms such as Airbnb.

The questionnaire was designed to survey coastal councils about experiences with Airbnb and similar services in their local area and to identify responses that have already been developed. The survey was conducted in March and April 2017 and the results formed the basis for a keynote speech and workshop session presented by Professor Nicole Gurran at the 2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference, which was held at Redcliffe in Queensland on 4 May.

In the report summary, Professor Nicole Gurran indicates the need for further research to identify potential responses to the issues identified in the findings in terms of councils’ planning frameworks, rating regimes, licensing, and complaints mechanisms.

Professor Gurran points out that coastal councils need different tools and strategies to address different sets of concerns around the amenity, tourism, infrastructure, cost burdens, and potential housing market impacts which are affecting local areas in different ways. She says there is likely to be much benefit in sharing knowledge and practices between councils across coastal Australia and in adapting emerging international responses for the local context.

The Australian Coastal Councils Association Inc is proposing to conduct more detailed research into this matter in conjunction with Professor Gurran. It is proposed to conduct the study on a collaborative basis with councils that wish to participate.

Click here for the survey results



The 2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference was held at Redcliffe, Queensland, from Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 May 2017.

The event was held at the Mon Komo Hotel, Redcliffe, Queensland and was jointly hosted by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism.

Read or download the conference report here:

2017 Australian Coastal Councils Report






Coastal Issues – Case Studies

CoastAdapt Update and Application

Dr David Rissik, Deputy Director, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility

Coastal Planning on the Coffs Coast

Ms Sharon Smith, Section Leader Local Planning, Coffs Harbour City Council

Collaborating for Sustainable Tourism in a Coastal Region

Ms Pip Close, CEO, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association


Keynote Session

What Does the Future Hold for Coastal Regions?

Prof Tim Smith, Director of the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of Sunshine Coast

Session and Discussion

Investing in Climate Change Adaptation

Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar, James Cook University

Session and Discussion

The Country Game

Australian rules football legend Kevin Sheedy


Community engagement case studies

Goolwa Beach car park & surrounds – Best practice community engagement in a coastal context

Mr Simon Grenfell, Acting General Manager Infrastructure and Assets, Alexandrina Council

Participatory envisaging for wise coastal environmental offsets.

Ms Toni Cannard, Ecological Economist and Coastal Ecologist, CSIRO

Five tips for engaging communities in coastal climate change planning.

Dr Claudia Baldwin, Regional and Urban Planning, University of the Sunshine Coast

Clarence City Council’s coastal adaptation pathway.

Mr Phil Watson, NRM Planning Officer, Clarence City Council

Financing Options for Coastal Adaptation

Building the business case for adaptation

Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar, James Cook University and Dr David Rissik, NCCARF

CoastAdapt application and outcomes

Dr David Rissik, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility


Session and Discussion

Australia State of Environment Report 2016: Coasts

Dr Graeme Clark, Co-author of the chapter on Coasts in the State of Environment Report


Keynote Session

What Causes Clusters of Unprovoked Shark Bites?

Dr Daryl McPhee, Head, Higher Degree Research at Bond University

Keynote Address

A Coordinated Approach to Managing Coastal Hazards

Mr John Lane, Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection  

Session and Discussion

The Short-term Rental Accommodation Challenge

Professor Nicole Gurran, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Sydney

Airbnb – The Douglas Shire Experience

Mayor Julia Leu, Douglas Shire Council Queensland

Session and Discussion:

Hero to Zero: The Climate Change Adaptation Planning Journey for Two Australia CoastalCouncils

Mr Donovan Burton, Principal, Climate Planning

Coastal Engineering Case Studies

Woorim Beach shoreline erosion management

Mr David Meyer, Manager Engineering, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Beachmere Lake: Reviving the health of an urban tidal lake.

Mr Allan Charteris, Coordinator Drainage, Waterways and Coastal Planning, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Using remote piloted aircraft for seawall condition assessment.

Mr Shamim Yazdani, Senior Engineer – Stormwater Planning, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Comparing coastal hazard vulnerability and risk identification approaches across Australia.

Mr Andrew McCowan, Managing Director, Water Technology

Workshop – The Short-term Rental Accommodation Challenge

Professor Nicole Gurran, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Sydney


Walking Tour

Activating the Redcliffe Foreshore

Ms Jo-Ann Baynham, Senior Strategic Planner, Moreton Bay Regional Council




Session and Discussion

Towards an Integrated Approach to Estimating Temporary Populations in Australia

Dr Elin Charles-Edwards, Lecturer in Human Geography at The University of Queensland

Session and Discussion

Estimating Temporary Populations – The Power of Aggregated Mobile Device Data

Mr Andrew Howe and Ms Tricia Chester – Demographers, Australian Bureau of Statistics

Session and Discussion

Location Insights on Population Movements for Councils

Mr Peter Hallowes and Mr Elliot Scali – TBA

Coastal Case Studies

Financing Planned Retreat – Can Land Acquisition be Made More Affordable?

Mr John Watson, School of Law, University of South Australia

Estimating Coastal and Marine Natural Asset Values

Dr Sean Pascoe, team leader, CSIRO Marine Resource Economics team

Australia’s Love of the Coast – Are We Overdoing It?

Mr Oliver Moles, Director of Sustainable Development, Moyne Shire Council

2017 Conference Communiqué

Mr Alan Stokes, Executive Director, Australian Coastal Councils Association Inc

Winners of 2017 Australian Coastal Awards Announced

The winners of the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards were announced on 5 May at the Australian Coastal Councils Conference, held at Redcliffe in Queensland.

Barry Sammels, Chair of the Australian Coastal Councils Association, said the Awards were established to acknowledge the achievement of individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Australian coastal environment, settlements and sustainability.

“The Awards are intended to raise community awareness of the importance of the coastal zone and to encourage coastal planning and management practitioners to strive for excellence,” he said.

Barry Sammels said the standard of nominations for the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards was very high. Winners of the awards were:

• Clarence City Council (Tasmania) which won the 2017 Australian Coastal Award for Annual Achievement;
• The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (WA), which won the 2017 Australian Coastal Award for Community Engagement;
• Moreton Bay Regional Council (Queensland) which won the 2017 Australian Coastal Award for Planning and Management; and
• The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, which won the 2017 Australian Coastal Award for Coastal Research.

“Australia has one of the longest coastlines in the world – more than 36,000kms – but it faces many challenges,” he said. “These include the impact of more frequent extreme weather events, widespread coastal erosion, the risks associated with a changing climate and loss of coastal environment due to rapid urbanisation.

“Fortunately, as a nation we have a large number of dedicated individuals and organisations who are committed to safeguarding the coast for future generations. The Australian Coastal Awards are intended to acknowledge their work, and to inspire others.”
Full list – 2017 Australian Coastal Awards
Award for Annual Achievement
Clarence City Council (TAS) for its adaptation pathway – sharing lessons learnt.
Award for Community Engagement
Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (WA) for its coastal and marine program.
Award for Planning and Management
Moreton Bay Regional Council (QLD) for its program using remotely piloted aircraft for seawall condition assessment.
Award for Research
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility development of the CoastAdapt web-based tool for managing climate risks.

Highly Commended – Community Engagement
Alexandrina Council (SA): Goolwa Beach Car Park & Surrounds Masterplan

Highly Commended – Climate Adaptation
Whitsunday Regional Council (QLD): Climate Change Adaptation Program


Pictured above:
Association Chair Barry Sammels (left) presents the 2017 Australian Coastal Award for Annual Achievement to Alderman Sharyn von Bertouch, NRM Planner Phil Watson and Alderman Kay McFarlane of Clarence City Council (TAS)

2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference

The 2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference was held at Redcliffe, Queensland, from Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 May 2017.

The Australian Coastal Councils Conference is the annual event where representatives of coastal councils, policy makers and researchers come together to share information on the latest developments in coastal planning and management from around Australia.

The 2017 Conference was held at the Mon Komo Hotel, Redcliffe, in Queensland. The event was jointly hosted by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism.

The theme for the 2017 Australian Coastal Councils Conference was A Sustainable Future for Coastal Australia.

Conference topics included:
• What does the future hold for coastal regions? – An outline of the social, economic and environmental outlook for coastal Australia;
• Options for financing coastal adaptation – Findings of a Griffith University study identifying options for financing adaptation works;
• What causes clusters of shark attacks? – The latest research identifies that clusters of unprovoked shark bites are not ‘completely random’;
• Coastal Populations – Proposed new methods of gathering population data in coastal areas. Presented by the Australian Bureau of Statistics;
• Presentation of the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards to acknowledge the achievement of individuals and organisations that made a significant contribution to the Australian coastal environment, settlements and sustainability

A Conference Report and copies of the conference presentations will be made available shortly.

New Disaster Funding Arrangements Scheduled for July Next Year

New disaster funding arrangements are set to take effect nationally from 1 July, 2018, according to a senior official of the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.

Ms Elizabeth Quinn, Assistant Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Disaster Resilience Strategy Branch, provided the update in response to inquiries about the current status of recommendations of the Productivity Commission inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements.

She said the Attorney-General’s Department has been consulting extensively with state and territory governments to develop ‘national disaster funding arrangements that include a new funding approach for the reconstruction of damaged public infrastructure’.

The new approach to funding arrangements would be based on upfront damage assessments and estimated reconstruction costs, rather than the reimbursement of actual costs, which had sometimes occurred years after the disaster.

Following the release of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations in May 2015, the Australian Coastal Councils Association wrote to former Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, expressing grave concerns about a number of the inquiry’s recommendations, including proposals that:
• the Australian Government share of disaster recovery costs be reduced from the current level of 75% to 50%;
• the threshold at which the Australian Government begins sharing recovery costs with a state be increased; and
• the small disaster criterion be increased from $240,000 to $2 million per event.

The Australian Government response to these recommendations indicates that because of the significant level of concerns about any proposal to reduce the Australian Government’s contribution to recovery funding the Commonwealth ‘does not propose to pursue these recommendations at this stage.’

The Australian Government’s response to the inquiry recommendations indicates that the government has been working with states and territories to develop and test new disaster recovery funding arrangements. ‘This will include the reconstruction of essential public assets, based on an upfront assessment of damages and estimated costs, rather than the current post-event reimbursement model.’

The government’s response further states: ‘The proposed new disaster funding arrangements will give greater autonomy to state, territory and local governments to reconstruct damaged public assets in a way that is cost-effective and best suits the needs of local communities.

‘Further, the new arrangements will be supported by national minimum requirements for damage assessment and estimated reconstruction pricing. This will reduce the audit and assurance red tape placed on states and territories under the current reimbursement model.’

The Government has indicated it will be testing certain aspects of the new funding arrangements over the next two disaster seasons, together with the states and territories. The government’s response to the inquiry can be found here.

Could green bonds be the answer to financing adaptation?

A study by researchers at Griffith University has found that investors are keen to buy green bonds designed specifically to provide funding for the costs of climate change adaptation but there are a range of barriers that currently prevent this type of financing.

The study, titled Mechanisms to finance climate change adaptation in Australia, was commissioned by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). The research project was based on extensive interviews with representatives of institutional investors, bankers, insurers, consultants, advisors, legal experts and all levels of government. The Australian Coastal Councils Association was one of the organisations which participated in the study.

In an article published by The Conversation, Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar, the lead researcher of the study and Dr David Rissik, the General Manager of NCCARF, say the costs involved are so substantial that Government at all levels will not be able to pay for adaptation. Therefore, there is a need to think about how best to promote adaptation as an opportunity for the finance sector.

The research indicates that investors are looking for investment in bankable and scalable projects such as those that can help Australia adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects, but which also generate a return on investment.

As the research report points out, however, there are no agreed means of demonstrating when a city, infrastructure or coast has successfully adapted to climate change. So not only are there no standards around green bonds for adaptation, these type of bonds don’t yet exist in Australia.

Dr. Banhalmi-Zakar and Dr. Rissik note that the bonds issued by governments and corporations to raise capital for projects are different to bank loans. They are issued over a specific time and have a set face value when issued that is paid back upon maturation.

Most green bonds demonstrate green credentials through projects that reduce carbon emissions, which mitigates climate change. Green adaptation bonds would incorporate elements or projects that ‘climate-proof’ investments or increase resilience to extreme events caused by climate change.

The article in The Conversation observes that green bonds have performed extraordinarily well in the market. The global value of green bonds (at issue) has increased from US$11 billion in 2013 to more than US$36 billion in 2014 and almost US$56 billion in mid-2015.

Dr. Banhalmi and Dr. Rissik say one of the key problems in getting green adaption bonds financed is that the bulk of responsibility for adaptation falls on local governments, which typically do not have the means to negotiate directly with investors, let alone access private sector funds.

Yet the research findings provide some hope that private sector financing for adaptation can become a reality. As indicated in the final report of the research project:

‘The benefit of financing adaptation through bonds is that the private sector is already experienced with this mechanism and that bonds are particularly targeted at large-scale projects (or group of projects). A limitation of bonds is that they require sizeable projects (i.e. costs over $25 million) to be feasible, therefore they can only apply to adaptation projects that are scalable.’

The final research report is available at –

CoastAdapt on-line tool to manage climate risks now ‘live’

A beta version of CoastAdapt – an on-line tool designed to assist d
ecision-makers to manage risks associated with climate change – has been launched on a trial basis and is now ‘live’

The tool has been developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and incorporates input from 700 coastal decision-makers, practitioners and researchers who were consulted during the development phase.CA-logo on white

CoastAdapt has been designed to provide coastal councils, communities and other coastal stakeholders with the skills, information and tools to support effective decision-making. It provides information on all aspects of climate change including the science, impacts on coastal settlements, and legal implications of adaptation.

The beta version is now open for testing and review until November. NCCARF is inviting feedback and input from coastal councils and advises that this review period is an essential part of the development process.

CoastAdapt has been developed by NCCARF with funding from the Australian Government through the Department of the Environment and Energy.

One of the services provided by CoastAdapt is an ‘Ask The Expert’ forum where coastal planners, engineers and decision-makers can put questions relating to coastal adaptation to a panel of experts.

The Australian Coastal Councils Association was one of the organisations that provided input to NCCARF during the development process. We encourage you to go on-line to test CoastAdapt and provide your feedback to NCCARF, as indicated on the site.

The beta version of CoastAdapt is available at –

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference – Report and presentations


The report and presentations from the 2016 Australian Coastal Conference held at Rockingham WA from 4 to 6 May 2016 are now available.

The 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference, held at Rockingham (WA) from 4 to 6 May 2016 was convened by the Australian Coastal Councils Association to provide a focus on the challenges facing the nation’s coastal communities. The Conference was held at the Gary Holland Community Centre, 19 Kent St Rockingham.

Read or download the conference report here:

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Report



Wednesday 4 May

Coastal Issues – Case Studies

Introduction to the City of Rockingham

Andrew Hammond, CEO, City of Rockingham WA

Economic Development Case Study – City of Fremantle Strategy

Dr Brad Pettitt, Mayor, City of Fremantle WA

Coastal Hazard and Sea Level Rise – The Clock is Ticking

Oliver Moles, Director, Moyne Shire Council VIC

Augusta Boat Harbour

Dr Johan Louw, Director, Shire of Augusta Margaret River WA


Keynote Address

Coastal Populations – New Approaches to Regional Data

Lisa Conolly, Director: Regional, Family and Community Statistics, Australian Bureau of Statistics


Coastal Research Forum

Marine Projections for NRM Regions of Australia

Dr Kathleen McInnes, Coastal Dynamics Program

NCEDA, Desalination, Coastal Intakes and Outfalls

Professor Wendell Ela, National Centre of Excellence in Desalination, Murdoch University

Retreat, Existing Coastal Settlements and the Effects of Climate Change

John Watson, School of Law, University of South Australia


Coastal Management Case Studies

Towards Best Practice Council-based Coastal Planning

Phil Watson, NRM Planner, Clarence City Council TAS

Reconciliation in the Grasslands: Themeda Grass Headland EEC

Cr Danielle Brice, Eurobodalla Shire Council NSW

Coastal Adaptation in the Peron Naturaliste Region of WA: A five Year Journey

Joanne Ludbrook, Coordinator, Peron Naturaliste Partnership WA


Finance Options for Coastal Adaptation

Financing Coastal Adaptation

Ashley Robb, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

Problems and prospects of moving the Climate Adaptation Finance Agenda Forward

Dan Ware, Griffith Centre of Coastal Management


Thursday 5 May

Keynote Address

Water Management in the Coastal Zone

A/Prof James Pittock, Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU


Coastal Research Forum

Introducing a Climate Risk Management Tool for Coastal Australia

Dr David Rissik, Deputy Director, NCCARF

Integrating coastal catchment research with community engagement

Dr Mat Vanderklift, Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, CSIRO


Economic Development Strategies in Coastal Regions

Quest Apartments Rockingham – Case Study

Tim Cross, National Sales Operations Manager, Quest Apartment Hotels

Mid west camping nodes

Nicole Nelson, Manager Tourism & Library Services, Shire of Irwin WA


Coastal Research Forum                              

Coastal dolphin research in Western Australia

Dr Alexander M Brown, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University

Community impacts and attitudes towards a State Marine Park at Jurien Bay, WA

Asha McNeill, Earth & Environment & Oceans Institute, University of WA


Coastal Erosion Session

Sea level rise and implications for coastal management

Dr Andrew McCowan, Managing Director, Water Technology Pty Ltd

Accurate framework for assessing the effect of mitigation schemes for coastal erosion

Dr Kasper Kaergaard, Senior Engineer, DHI Australia

Planning for long-term coastal erosion and inundation in Western Australia

Ashley Robb, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

Sunshine Coast regional sand sourcing study

Greg Fisk, BMT WBM Pty Ltd (Water and Environment)


Coastal Policy Workshop

Alan Stokes, Australian Coastal Councils Association


Friday 6 May

Keynote Address

Bay Plan 2070 for Port Phillip Bay

Michael Nolan, Chair – UN Global Compact Cities Programme


Coastal Planning

A review of planning approaches for coastal climate change

Professor Barbara Norman, Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, Australian National University


Renewable Energy

Community scale battery storage unit trial at Alkimos

Gus Riggs, Senior Policy Adviser, Synergy


Coastal Policy

2016 Campaign for the coast

Barry Sammels – Mayor, City of Rockingham, and Chair, Australian Coastal Councils Association


2016 Conference Coastal Policy and Communiqué          

Facilitated discussion to consider a proposed coastal policy platform and the Conference Communiqué


For inquiries call Tel: 03 9399 8558 Mob: 0418 254 132

or email:


Coastal councils call for national approach to managing Australian coastal zone

Representatives of Australian coastal councils and other coastal stakeholders attending the Australian Coastal Councils Conference from 4 to 6 May, 2016, issued a conference communiqué calling on the Australian Government to establish a national collaborative effort to secure a sustainable future for the Australian coastal zone.

The communiqué points out that the coast is one of Australia’s most highly valued social, economic and environmental assets. It is home to our state capitals and to more than 85% of our population.

While the coastal zone plays a pivotal role in the life of the nation, however, it is under increasing threat from a complex range of pressures.

Coastal councils and their communities call on the Australian Government to play a leadership role by adopting a set of policy initiatives based on the recommendations of the bi-partisan Australian Parliamentary Coastal inquiry.

The inquiry, conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts, was acknowledged as the most comprehensive examination of coastal pressures ever conducted in Australia.

Click here for the conference communiqué

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference Communiqué


2016 AUSTRALIAN COASTAL AWARDS – Nominations Now Open

The 2016 Australian Coastal Awards are to be announced at the 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference at Rockingham, Western Australia, on Thursday 5 May, 2016.  Continue reading 2016 AUSTRALIAN COASTAL AWARDS – Nominations Now Open