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Topics > Coasts

Adelaide beach management review

The Review

In April 2022 the South Australian Government announced that the planned construction of a sand recycling pipeline between West Beach and Semaphore South would be halted. Instead, a comprehensive review of all available coastal (sand) management options is being undertaken to ensure a long-term solution is found which puts community and the environment at the core.

The 12-month review commenced in early 2023, following the appointment of community engagement specialists URPS and coastal engineering specialists Bluecoast Consulting Engineers in late 2022.

The appointment of SA-based URPS allows for a bespoke community engagement process to be undertaken to ensure extensive consultation and engagement is undertaken with a broad range of stakeholders and community members. Through this process, URPS will document the Adelaide community’s views on sand management options and on the impact of the current sand management approaches including trucking and pipelines.

The NSW-based firm Bluecoast Consulting Engineers were appointed following a select tender process undertaken by DEW targeting local, interstate and overseas experts in coastal management. A review of the tender submissions was undertaken by the Independent Advisory Panel, and after careful consideration the Panel recommended that Bluecoast be appointed. The Attorney-General subsequently agreed with the recommendation and Bluecoast was engaged to undertake the scientific review.

The scientific review by Bluecoast will include consideration of:

  1. How to manage sand on Adelaide’s beaches to achieve the following goals:
    1. Minimise disruption for all communities
    2. Avoid environmental harm; and
    3. Maximise sand staying on beaches.
  2. The Adelaide community’s views on sand management options and on the impact of the current sand management approaches including trucking and pipelines.
  3. Lessons from international examples of sand management on metropolitan beaches.
  4. What can be learned from the most up to date analysis of climate science about future management of Adelaide’s beaches.

URPS and Bluecoast will be working collaboratively, and reporting to the Independent Advisory Panel over the course of the review. An overview of the integrated review process is provided below (noting this timeline is subject to change as the review progresses):

  • December-January 2023 – Preparation of Community Engagement Plan
  • January-February 2023 – Review of relevant data and literature on Adelaide coastal management. Meetings with key stakeholders to discuss coastal management options
  • February-March 2023 – Systematic review of constraints and opportunities. Undertake baseline geomorphic assessment. Develop long-list of management options.
  • March-April 2023 – Scientific review of potential sand sources
  • April-May 2023 – Broad community consultation on options.
  • May-June 2023 – Prepare engagement report. Undertake option development and evaluation
  • July-August 2023 – Prepare draft scientific report on management options. Prepare engagement materials on options
  • September-October 2023 – Community consultation
  • November-December 2023 – Complete scientific and engagement reports, and provide advice to government.

Further updates on the progress of the review will be provided when available. To stay informed, please subscribe for updates.

Externally sourced sand will continue to be brought into West Beach while the review is completed.

For further information on beach management, please see Managing Adelaide's Beaches

The Independent Advisory Panel

The Independent Advisory Panel was formed in November 2022 to oversee the Adelaide Beach Management Review. This was the first step in an important journey to find sustainable solutions to coastal erosion along Adelaide's metropolitan beaches.

The six Advisory Panel members were appointed by the Attorney-General as follows:

- Mark Searle, former chief executive officer for the City of Marion
- Kaurna representatives Les Wanganeen and Sarah Smith
- Professor Beverley Clarke, social science expert from Flinders University
- Professor Emeritus Nicholas Harvey, coastal science expert from the University of Adelaide
- Professor Emeritus Michael Young, environmental science expert from the University of Adelaide.

The Panel will receive submissions from community members and groups as part of the community engagement process, and will also receive the findings of the independent scientific review. Any recommendations by the Panel in response to these outcomes will be made to government through the Attorney-General.

Additional information on the Panel is available via:

- New Independent Advisory Panel

- Independent Advisory Panel Terms of Reference

Panel meeting agendas and minutes will be published here when available.


Fact Sheets

Additional detail relevant to the review is provided in the fact sheets below:

- Adelaide beach management review FAQs

- Independent Advisory Panel FAQs

Adelaide beach management review
Photo credit: South Australian Tourism Commission