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Safety Bay and Shoalwater Coastal Management Study

Mersey Point coast

About the study

At its meeting on Tuesday 28 January 2020, Council accepted a study which will guide the coastal management of the Safety Bay and Shoalwater areas for the next 10 years.

The Safety Bay Shoalwater Coastal Management Study investigates the varying coastal processes, current coastal management activities and recommendations needed for future management of an area that spans from the Garden Island Causeway Bridge down the coast to the Waikiki foreshore.  

The study also reviewed existing boating facilities within the area and explored the opportunity for future extension and development.


How was the study area selected?

The coastal section between the Causeway and Waikiki foreshore is a highly dynamic area with both accretion and erosion hotspots like Tern Bank and Mersey Point respectively. The rest of the coastal section within the City is relatively stable. This section of the coast also caters for many of the recreational boating facilities in the City, including Point Peron, Carlisle Street, Bent Street and Donald Drive boat ramps. The pond is very popular for multiple recreational uses including swimming, wind and kiteboarding. All of these were considered in selecting the study area.

What is the study horizon?

The study horizon is for the next 10 years with due consideration of coastal processes and risk over the next 30 years including the Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP).

What were the study objectives and considerations?

The study had the following key objectives:

  • Identify possible locations for additional boat launching facilities (in the study area).
  • Identify the most effective coastal management strategies.
  • Develop a sound strategic approach to coastal management for the next 10 years to 2030.
  • Assess coastal management options by undertaking following Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA):
    • technical feasibility (performance, safety)
    • economic viability (operating expenditure, capital expenditure, net present value [NPV] for the study period)
    • social and environmental desirability (impact, regulation, public acceptance, independence of operations).

The following issues were considered as part of the study:

  • sediment transport in the sediment cells (coastal sand movement)
  • impact of climate change (in 10 years to 2030, in 30 years to 2050)
  • impact of future sediment transport and activity on Tern Bank, the pond and the Bent Street boat ramp
  • current and future demand for boat launching facilities
  • effectiveness of current coastal protection and coastal infrastructure management.
How were the sectors divided?

The study area was divided into six sectors to reflect the natural sediment movement cells.

Which authorities were consulted?

The following agencies were consulted as part of the study. The agencies were divided into two groups: primary and secondary stakeholders.

Primary stakeholders

  • Department of Transport (DoT)
  • Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA)

Secondary stakeholders (research agencies)

  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (CSIRO)
  • Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI)
  • University of Western Australia (UWA)
  • Curtin University of Technology
  • Murdoch University
  • Edith Cowan University (ECU) - School of Science

The primary stakeholders will be further consulted as part of the development of the strategy.

How were the options for each sector assessed and prioritised?

The options for each sector were assessed by undertaking a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) that considered the following for each option:

  • technical feasibility (performance, safety)
  • economic viability (operating expenditure, capital expenditure, net present value [NPV] for the study period)
  • social and environmental desirability (impact, regulation, public acceptance, independence of operations).
When will the recommendations be implemented?

The recommendations will inform the City's Coastal Facilities Strategy that will be developed in 2020/2021. The implementation timeframe will be based on the strategy.

Did you consider the environmental impacts of the recommendations?

The overarching environmental impacts were considered as part of the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) options assessments. Detailed considerations will be undertaken as part of the planning and implementation of individual options.

How can the community provide input?

The community can provide input into the Coastal Facilities Strategy which will be developed in 2020/2021. Details about the community engagement will be advertised on the City’s website and social media platforms and the local newspapers. Please keep an eye on the Share your thoughts section of the City’s website.

Why was the community not consulted?

Considering the technical nature of the study, no community consultation was undertaken as part of the development of the study, however the outcome of the study was shared with the community at the information sessions.

Coastal Management Study Information Sessions

The City held two public information sessions to share the outcome of the study with the community. 

Information Session 1Gary Holland Community Centre, 19 Kent Street, Rockingham10 March 2020Completed
Information Session 2Safety Bay Yacht Club, 235 Safety Bay Road, Safety Bay10 March 2020Completed



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