Isaac Regional Planning Scheme and Storm Tide Study

Our team was commissioned by Isaac Regional Council to undertake a coastal hazard and storm tide study. We provided a range of coastal management services to the project, which aimed to identify the areas that are exposed to storm tide inundation, the scale of their exposure, and the risk to vulnerable infrastructure along the coastline of Isaac Regional Council to help inform the development of the Isaac Regional Planning Scheme.

The central coast of Queensland is one of the most cyclone-prone regions in Australia. It is regularly affected by cyclones, which not only cause damage to manmade infrastructure in the towns that call this part of Australia home, but also the natural environment which is unique and so important to the region.

One of the major causes of this damage is exposure to storm tide inundation that accompanies cyclone events. Storm tide inundation can extend several kilometres inland, posing a significant threat to human life, infrastructure and environment.

Cardno was commissioned by Isaac Regional Council to undertake a coastal hazard and storm tide study. The studies, which included a Coastal Hazard Assessment and Inundation Modelling and Risk Assessment, identified the areas that are exposed to storm time inundation, the scale of their exposure, and the risk to vulnerable infrastructure.

The Coastal Hazards Assessment included short-and-long-term erosion assessment for the five townships on the coast of local government area; detailed mapping of coastal hazards; community consultation, engagement sessions; and an in-depth risk assessment of local properties and infrastructure exposed to storm tide hazards.

Study Area Locality Plan - Isaac Council Storm Tide Study


The Inundation Modelling and Risk Assessment provided a detailed assessment of the regional tropical cyclone climatology; the establishment of a fully calibrated and verified hydrodynamic model capable of stimulating the relevant processes including wind, barometric pressure, tides, waves and storm surge.

It also included a Monte-Carlo cyclone analysis that included a stochastic spatial assessment of cyclone climatology and generation of a 10,000 years record of synthetic cyclone tracks; detailed cyclonic storm tide modelling; determination of storm tide statistics and AEP storm tide levels along the study area coastline; detailed mapping of storm tide inundation, storm tide hazard and emergency response and management zones; and an in-depth risk assessment of local properties and infrastructure exposed to storm tide hazards.

The outcomes of both the Coastal Hazards Assessment and Inundation Modelling and Risk Assessment have played a role by increasing storm tide hazard awareness among the local community, and informing the development of the Isaac Regional Planning Scheme.

The project, for which Cardno worked alongside Isaac Regional Council and Ethos Urban, received two awards at the 2020 Planning Institute of Australia Queensland Awards, taking out the 2020 QLD Overall Winner and the Hard Won Victory categories.