If you are a private waterfront property owner affected by erosion, you can conduct individual property protection works.

Any shoreline erosion management strategy needs to consider the risks, including the effectiveness of proposed and existing works, and ensure there is no increase in coastal hazard risk for adjacent areas.

Prescribed tidal works

Prescribed tidal works are tidal works that:

  • are completely or partly within a local government tidal area
  • include parts of the structure that extend onto land above the high water mark.  

Tidal works include relevant work that is:

  • undertaken on land that either
    • is in, on or above land under tidal water
    • that will or may be under tidal water because of development on or near the land
  • an integral part of the relevant work, wherever located.

Tidal works include the construction or demolition of a basin, boat ramp, breakwater, bridge, dam, dock, dockyard, embankment, groyne, jetty, pipeline, pontoon, powerline, sea wall, slip, small-craft facility, training wall or wharf and works in tidal water necessarily associated with construction or demolition.

Council assesses applications for prescribed tidal work. The local government tidal area is delineated using the following parameters:

On the open coast

The local government tidal area is the seaward area within 50m of the high water mark.

In rivers and estuaries

  • If the same local government is on both sides of a river or estuary (waterway), the local government tidal area includes the entire width of the river or estuary up to high water mark, and from the mouth of the river or delta to as far up the river or estuary as the spring tides ordinarily flow and reflow.
  • If a different local government is on each bank of a river or estuary, each local government’s tidal area extends only to halfway across the river or estuary measured, from high water mark and from the mouth to as far up the river or estuary as the spring tides ordinarily flow and reflow adjacent to the local government’s area.

Ownership of work

By law, a development permit for tidal works is a right to occupy and use State coastal land in the absence of tenure issued under the Land Act 1994. Therefore, an approval does not in any way confer ownership rights with respect to the land.

Maintenance of work

The owner, occupier or lessee of land landward of high water mark connected to (or receiving benefit of) a prescribed tidal work must maintain the structure in a safe condition.

You do not need a development permit for work that involves maintaining a lawful structure as it is considered ‘excluded work’ under the Planning Regulation 2017.

Examples of this work include replacing a structural element of a jetty or pontoon, or replacing displaced rock material in a rock wall.

Note: If you maintain a structure within a fisheries resource area or fish habitat area, and that work is accepted development, you are required to comply with the accepted development requirements under the Planning Act 2016 and the Fisheries Act 1994. See the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for codes for accepted development of maintenance works.

Required approvals

Council assesses prescribed tidal works applications in line with the provisions for assessable development in the Planning Act 2016 and Coastal Protection and Management Regulation 2017.

You will need to submit an Operational Works application for Prescribed Tidal Works for all marine structures, including sea walls. You must obtain all necessary approvals and permits before starting any construction work.

In some instances, you may also need a Marine Park Permit from the Queensland Government.

How to apply

To apply to Council for approval of an Operational Works application for Prescribed Tidal Works, submit:

  • a Council application fee as listed in the current fee schedule
  • DA Form 1 – Application details
  • all mandatory supporting information identified in the DA Form, including:
    • a statement about how your proposal complies with the planning scheme, the State code for prescribed tidal work and other relevant codes
    • detailed design of the proposed sea wall
    • certification from a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) that the works are suitable for the intended use
    • a site plan drawn to scale.

Submit your application to Council:

For further information, contact Council’s Engineering and Environmental Assessment team on: