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Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Western Australia Projects List

The Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Western Australia (CVA WA) Projects List is intended as a tool for the Department of Planning (DoP), Department of Transport (DoT), local governments and other interested parties, to use to track and refer to projects relevant to the assessment of coastal vulnerability. It is intended that by allowing greater awareness and sharing of knowledge and methodologies, this tool can contribute to the ongoing improvement in the assessment and understanding of coastal vulnerability.

The listed projects have been chosen on their relevance to the themes of coastal planning, climate change and sea level rise within Western Australia. An arbitrary commencement date of 2005 has been chosen. This tool is intended to be an evolving and interactive inventory of projects, rather than a static or definitive list. On this basis, interested parties and the public are invited to submit recommendations for projects to be incorporated into the list, or provide other comments on how this tool could be improved.

It is important to note that neither the DoP, DoT or the Western Australian Planning Commission have made judgements as to the technical merit of the methodologies used in these studies and in no way endorses any of the projects or their findings.

The list catalogues projects at Global, National, State and Regional, and Sub-Regional to Local scales. The list also contains project information such as the project manager/reference details, study area, project objectives and the project type (see key below the list for an explanation of the project types). While it is somewhat arbitrary to divide the broad range of coastal vulnerability assessment related projects into discrete ‘types’, it can be helpful for quickly seeing the broad nature and scope of a project without delving into its specific objectives and outputs. It could also be helpful for identifying gaps in the type of work being undertaken. Obviously many projects will have broad scopes that sit across more than one ‘type’, but this does not diminish the usefulness of the analysis.
Additional information relating to data sources, methodologies and case studies are also provided below the project list.

If you require further information on the Coastal Vulnerability Assessment WA Projects list please email the coastal planning officer, or fill out an online feedback form.

Coastal Erosion and Stability

There are numerous studies available on the Department of Transport’s website that can aid in understanding how erosion affects the stability of Western Australian coastal infrastructure.

For further information, please visit the Department of Transport’s website:

WA State Coastal Landform Map

The WA State Coastal Landform Map has been updated to reflect the policy changes in State Coastal Planning Policy (SPP 2.6). The map outlines the coastal landform types in WA: sandy, rocky, mixed sandy and rock, coastal lowlands, tidal reaches of inland waters and islands. The indicative risk of landform change for these coastal types is also mapped.

Under SPP 2.6, foreshore reserves should take into account coastal processes based on the physical and biological features of the particular coastal environment, such as coastal landform types. In determining the coastal foreshore reserve it is important to recognise time and space scales in which the landforms and their driving processes operate for the planning timeframe. The planning timeframe should also take into consideration the impacts of climate change on coastal landforms.

Hard copy maps are available for pick up from the Perth Department of Planning Office. For more information please contact Sam Bishopp.

The map can be downloaded in low resolution from the links below.


WALGA Online Climate Change Project Database – Local Government Project Map

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has released the Online Climate Change Project Database.  The ‘searchable map’ details climate change projects, programs and policies being developed by proactive Local Governments across the State. The map will provide a complete picture of the depth and breadth of Local Government’s vital contribution to the climate change management space, and is a visual tool for advocacy on future funding and support needs for the sector.

Specific project information includes contact details of the project ‘owner’ so that Local Governments can communicate with their neighbours and colleagues across the sector to ensure that successful projects are shared, celebrated and efforts not duplicated.

For further information and to view the map, please visit the website.

How to Photo Monitor Beaches

The Department of Transport has released a step by step guide designed for use by local governments, coastal managers, coastal engineers, community groups and community members for beach monitoring.

How to Photo Monitor Beaches explains how to take photos with a specified field of view from established monitoring points over a set time period to identify and record changes to the beach.

To view the guide, please visit:

LiDAR Survey and Bathymetric Mapping

The output of a Department of Planning project to assess coastal vulnerability and prepare for possible sea level rise provides a complete and seamless data files of water depths and broad seabed imagery from pseudo-reflectance, and a high resolution coastal 3D model of the land and seabed between Two Rocks and Cape Naturaliste.

Some of the specific outputs are:

  • ASCII xyz bathymetry data
  • digital elevation model
  • geo-referenced digital aerial mosaic imagery
  • tide data
  • surface images of the bathymetry data at 10 metre resolution
  • relative reflectance data
  • seabed data classified into seven classes
  • sun illuminated imagery
  • bathymetry plots
  • geo-referenced surface images of the bathymetry data.

The data collected will be used as input for several other purposes, such as:

  • creating a digital elevation model to analyse the impacts of climate change on infrastructure and the environment;
  • providing a baseline for undertaking continuous studies to assess the vulnerability of the built environment on the Perth metropolitan and south-west coastal strip;
  • identification of coastal sediment cells in which areas functioning as sediment source areas, transport pathways and sediment sinks (areas of sediment loss from the coastal system) are determined;
  • modelling flooding, groundwater, surface water, tsunamis and storm events;
  • informing the development of regional and local coastal plans;
  • assessment of the impacts of climate change induced sea level rise on the coast;
  • identification of areas potentially at risk from storm surge, inundation, erosion and high winds;
  • identifying areas where physical protection measures are required to protect assets and people;
  • identifying areas yet to be developed where land use planning changes will be required;
  • building and testing mathematical procedures that use 3D models to indicate the impacts of environmental change;
  • provide a basis for contingency planning and managing natural disasters;
  • planning and managing urban development along the coastal plain – used by developers, consultants, local government authorities and state government agencies;
  • preparing marine plans.

The data was collected by Tenix LADS (Laser Airborne Depth Sounding) Corporation Pty Ltd (now Fugro LADS Corporation Pty Ltd) on behalf of the Department.

The company was commissioned to collect bathymetric data and determine seabed texture for the area of coastline between Two Rocks and Cape Naturaliste. The study area extended seaward from the waterline at the coast to the nominal -20 metre marine nautical navigation chart contour (minus 21m AHD), and included seven selected shoals.

The data was collected by performing a ‘LiDAR’ hydrographic survey. LiDAR is the acronym for Light Detection And Ranging. This aircraft borne remote sensing technology rapidly transmits pulses of light that reflect off the underwater terrain and other marine features.

Data was collected over 19 flights in April and May 2009 at 5 x 5 metre resolution. The data was processed over a six month period between May and October 2009.

For further information on the project, please contact Vivienne Panizza at the Department of Planning on telephone (08) 6551 9342 or email

For technical enquiries or data orders, please contact Ric Mahoney at the Department of Transport on telephone (08) 9216 8827 or email

Links to other projects

The Federal Government has coordinated a national coastal vulnerability assessment, with the aim of identifying coastal environments, communities and infrastructure at risk from the impacts of climate change. The Department of Planning and Department of Transport's LiDAR survey and resulting datasets will add significant high-resolution detail supporting these aims.

The project also complements a project being undertaken by the WA Department of Water. In 2008 the Department of Water commissioned Fugro Spatial Solutions to undertake a land-based LiDAR survey of 7000 km² of the Swan Coastal Plain. The survey was conducted by in February 2008 at 1metre x 1metre resolution. The Digital Terrain Model which resulted is being used to determine the patterns of flooding, groundwater/surface water interaction and ecological systems.

The data is available for distribution to government agencies and external stakeholders.

For further information or data orders please contact Peter Muirden at the Department of Water on telephone (08) 6364 6925 or email

Under the Future Coasts Program, the Victorian Government is undertaking coastal vulnerability assessment projects to help understand how sea level rise and storms will impact Victoria's coast. Part of this work has involved developing digital elevation models for the entire coastline of Victoria.

For further information on the Victorian Government's coastal vulnerability assessment projects visit the Department of Sustainability and Environment's website at:

Coastal Partnerships

Peron Naturaliste Partnership – Comprises the nine coastal or estuary local governments situated in the south west of WA, along the Peron-Naturaliste coast, i.e. the Cities of Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton and the Shires of Harvey, Waroona, Dardanup, Murray and Capel. Established to undertake climate change vulnerability assessment, mitigation and adaptation planning.

For further information, please visit:

Cockburn Sound Coastal Alliance – City of Cockburn, City of Rockingham, City of Fremantle, City of Kwinana, Department of Defence (Defence Support and Reform Group) and Cockburn Sound Management Council. The Cockburn Sound Coastal Alliance is undertaking a Cockburn Sound Coastal Vulnerability and Flexible Adaptation Plan Project. The study area for this project covers the Cockburn Sound and Owen Anchorage coastal strip between Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and Point Peron, Rockingham, including the east coast of Garden Island.

For further information, see the CVA WA projects list or contact Doug Vickery.

Central Coast partnership – The Shire of Dandaragan, Shire of Gingin and the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) have formed a new partnership that will help communities along Western Australia’s Central Coast take the first steps in preparing for coastal hazards such as inundation and long term erosion. For further information, please contact Ashley Robb.