AN UNDERGROUND rock wall could be built between Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland if erosion begins to threaten crucial infrastructure.
Sunshine Coast Council has had preliminary discussions on how to best protect the area south of Maroochydore Surf Club.
The council is putting together its Shoreline Erosion Management Plan – a strategy to keep our beaches where they are for the next century.
Budget figures delivered to a meeting last week allocated $1.2 million to an “armour rock wall” at Alexandra Headland, but principal policy officer Mark Breen said it was just an indicative figure.
Its actual cost would amount to roughly $3000 a metre along the shoreline. With an estimated distance of a kilometre, it would add up to $3 million. “The key thing is that studies are at a fairly early stage,” Mr Breen said. “The concept of a seawall is very preliminary.” It would also be a last resort.
“One option would be beach nourishment through pumping, similar to Noosa,” Mr Breen said. “Another is planting over the dunes and managing beach access so it is limited to certain parts.”
Mr Breen said one brutal storm could wipe both strategies out. Giant fabric sandbags jutting out from the shoreline – known as groynes – could funnel sand back to the beach. However, these too can be shifted by heavy storms or even by anglers tampering with them. Keen fishermen often tear small holes in the bags to plant their rods.
“A rock wall may be a last ditch effort to protect the area,” Mr Breen said. “We want a beach and it would be a last stopgap.” The community will have its say on a rock wall or groyne long before a decision is made.