Scarborough cliff stabilisation

The vibrant red earth cliffs along the Scarborough coastline are an iconic natural feature that inspired the name of the Redcliffe Peninsula upon the arrival in Moreton Bay of the explorer Matthew Flinders in 1799.

Slow but persistent long-term erosion due to natural coastal processes has caused the iconic cliffs to retreat slowly landwards, posing a potential risk to public infrastructure and public safety. For some time, council has been working with coastal engineering design consultants and the Queensland Government to develop a safe, sustainable and environmentally sensitive solution to the erosion risk in a way that preserves the character and heritage values of the cliffs. The final preferred solution was endorsed by state agencies, with all required statutory approvals granted in late 2018.

Detailed engineering design works have been completed and works are expected to commence on-site in mid 2019 following tendering for construction of the project. The project works will comprise three key elements: 

  • Crest re-profiling - reshaping of the top 1-2m of the cliff crest, including removal of dangerously overhanging vegetation, in unstable areas of the cliff to improve stability
  • Coloured and textured shotcrete erosion wall (cliff base protection) - to provide protection to the vulnerable lower areas of the cliff from undercutting due to storm waves
  • Cliff face hardening - application of transparent soil stabilising treatment in vulnerable areas of the cliff face to improve resistance to weathering processes.  



Landsborough Avenue, Scarborough 4020  View map

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Existing conditions at the cliff

Scarborough Cliff existing conditions
  1. Unstable vegetation, overhanging and near vertical material at the cliff crest.
  2. Localised failure of cliff crest areas due to unstable vegetation and over-steepened faces.
  3. Localised cliff collapses as a result of notch erosion.
  4. Notch erosion at cliff base due to the long-term persistent action of tides and waves.

Proposed erosion wall hardens cliff base

Scarborough Cliff proposed erosion wall
  1. Crest of cliff cleared of unstable overhanging/near vertical material and vegetation.
  2. Upper cliff to be strengthened using soil stabiliser. 
  3. Proposed coloured and textured concrete erosion wall to protect cliff base from notch erosion.