In January 2013, the island was struck by a storm surge from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. The event hit hard, wiping out almost a kilometre of Coochiemudlo’s eastern shoreline, exposing fragile ecosystems and threatening the island’s economy.
It was a baptism by fire for a new organisation formed just days earlier and the going was tough. We believed Coochie was being ignored, but we soon gathered strength as the community rallied to take what we saw as the” battle for our beaches” to the Council chambers. We drew on State and Federal Members of Parliament for support and contacted government departments collecting valuable information to short-circuit bureaucratic process.
With support from our local Councillor, Lance Hewlett, the Mayor, Karen Williams and Redland City Councillors listened. The rescue package put together by SEQ Catchments’, with Federal funds and assistance from Wetland Care Australia sealed the deal. A team of contractors spent six weeks shifting sand, setting trees upright and reinstating beach access while Coastcarers planted over six and a half thousand trees, grasses and shrubs. The work continues today.
The images below show Coastcare’s restoration of Norfolk Beach (as at November 2016) compared to the damage after Oswald hit our shores. Slide the arrows left or right to compare the before and after shots.