About coastal hazards

If you are planning development in a coastal area you need to understand if the area is affected by coastal hazards, which include sea erosion and storm tide inundation.

The hazards are determined using the Coastal hazard technical guide (PDF, 348KB) and include a 0.8m sea level rise by 2100 due to the impact of climate change.

The Queensland Government has declared erosion prone areas along the coast and set regional storm tide inundation levels to indicate the hazard. Local governments may also have undertaken more detailed investigations of storm tide inundation risk.

The Queensland Government provides coastal hazard area maps to help guide land-use planning and development decisions.

Coastal hazard area maps

Coastal hazard area maps are available, or can be requested, using the following mapping tools:

Due to the changing nature of the coastal environment, these maps are indicative only.

What is shown on a coastal hazard area map

Erosion prone area

The erosion prone area is the width of the coast that is considered to be vulnerable to coastal erosion and permanent inundation by the sea over a nominated 100-year planning period. It includes:

  • erosion due to storm impact and long-term trends including sediment supply deficit and channel migration
  • permanent inundation due to sea level rise.

Erosion prone area plans have been declared for all coastal local government areas in Queensland. Read more about erosion prone areas and plans and shoreline erosion management planning.

Storm tide inundation

A storm tide occurs when water levels are elevated well above normal tidal levels during a severe storm event. This can cause the inundation of low-lying land on the coast, resulting in damage to the natural and built environments.

The storm tide inundation area shown on the map is based on the area of land temporarily inundated by a defined storm-tide event. A storm-tide inundation default value of 1.5m above highest astronomical tide is used to identify the area of inundation for South East Queensland and 2.0m above highest astronomical tide for the rest of Queensland.

A storm tide inundation area is classified as either:

  • high hazard area—refers to the land within the coastal hazard area that would be subject to temporary inundation during a defined storm-tide event of one metre or more
  • medium hazard area—refers to land within the coastal hazard area that would be subject to less than one metre of inundation during a defined storm-tide event.

For more information on a defined storm tide event refer to Coastal hazard technical guide (PDF, 348KB).

Coastal management district

The coastal management district is a coastal area that is considered to need protection or management, especially with respect to the area’s vulnerability to erosion, value in maintaining or enhancing coastal resources or for planning and development of the area. Coastal management districts are declared under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Coastal Act).

The coastal management district generally follows lot boundaries. From time to time lot boundaries change which may result in some properties being partially in the coastal management district. If there is any doubt about the location of the coastal management district on your lot contact coastal.support@des.qld.gov.au.

Find out more about the coastal management district mapping methodology.

Coastal building line

A coastal building line identifies areas that are vulnerable to coastal erosion.

Development seaward of a coastal building line are assessed to minimise damage to buildings and other structures from erosion and to ensure that future erosion protection works can be located wholly on the freehold lot.

Generally no building work—including houses, sheds or swimming pools—are allowed seaward of a coastal building line.

Erosion control structures are the only structures that can be considered seaward of a coastal building line.

For further information read the Guideline: State Development Assessment Provisions State Code 8: Coastal development and tidal works (PDF, 483KB).

To find out if your property is affected by a coastal building line visit the DA Mapping system website.

Find out more about applying for a Development Approval.