Sunshine Coast to Repair Coastline After Surf Life Saving Championships

The Sunshine Coast Council is gearing up to repair sections of the coastline impacted by the recent influx of more than 8,000 athletes and their supporters during the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. The restoration efforts will focus on Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore, areas heavily utilized during the nine-day event.

Greg Laverty, Group Executive for Economic and Community Development, highlighted the economic benefits of the event, which injected an estimated $15 million into the local economy. However, the large number of visitors left a mark on the environment.

“Sometimes these events have a temporary and minor impact and we are working as high priority to undertake repairs and remediation,” Laverty said.

Repairs to parkland turf at Alexandra Headland are slated to begin in two weeks, weather permitting. Laverty acknowledged the delay in addressing the issue, attributing it to recent rains that have hindered local turf farms from cutting turf as quickly as needed.

“Whenever we purchase materials and services we aim to support and use local suppliers, and unfortunately recent rains have meant our local turf farms haven’t been able to cut as quickly as we – and our community – would like,” he explained.

The parks and gardens team is exploring all options to expedite the restoration process. Once the new turf is laid, some areas may need to be fenced off to allow it to establish properly.

“We are also taking on board some very constructive community feedback on how we may be able to better protect the turf during future events,” Laverty added.

The repair works are part of the contract arrangement with Tourism and Events Queensland and Surf Life Saving Australia. A council press release noted that there was minimal damage within the designated dune environment reserve area, with natural revegetation expected in the coming months. Spinifex and beach bean plants are already recovering in various areas along Maroochydore Beach.

Additionally, the council has reprofiled the dune at Beach Access 147, where the first aid tent was located. Laverty also mentioned recent ocean swells causing some dunal vegetation loss due to erosion. The site will be monitored for six months to allow for natural regeneration.

“We will continue to monitor the site for six months to allow it time to regenerate naturally thanks to lots of intact spinifex still on site,” Laverty said.

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