I have long been interested in trying to unravel the driving forces that underpin the geomorphological and sedimentary record of coastal deposits. This has involved the study of sand barrier, river delta and coral reef sequences in different areas of the world. It is no surprise that this work has not been without challenges both in collecting and analysing data on the one hand and interpreting the depositional sequences on the other. One can only keep trying! Read More


It is hard to believe that only 10 years ago on 18 February, 2010, around 180 coastal wonks gathered in Adelaide to discuss “developing a national coastal adaptation agenda”. It was a Forum sponsored by the then Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). A subsequent report of the Forum was released by the Department. But how times have changed? Read More


There is a need for the Commonwealth to rethink mechanisms for supporting the states in disaster management through the establishment of a climate change adaptation action arm within the Defence portfolio. A model is offered based on the US Army Corps of Engineers. Read More

Coastal Devastation

To begin a new year with such grief and sadness is not what we expect. Yet the past two weeks have been traumatic for many coastal communities in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. What has been happening is a continuation of fire storms that commenced in spring in southern Queensland and northern NSW and progressively moved to southern regions—was this not to be expected? Read More

Parsley Bay in the Summer

We live in the glorious eastern suburbs of Sydney overlooking Parsley Bay, on the outer end of Sydney Harbour. This funnel-shaped re-entrant offers one of those delightful out-of-the way spots enjoyed by those privileged to live nearby and weekend visitors. Read More

The whereabouts of climate change adaptation

Since the late 1980s climate change adaptation has received limited consideration by the Australian Government. Mitigation continues to dominate the national discourse. Addressing adaptation challenges of the “new normal” climate conditions as foreseen years ago by climate change scientists demands greater national attention. Recent changes to the machinery of government in Canberra does not instil confidence that these challenges will be met by collaborative action to minimise risk and harm to Australian communities and environmental conditions. Read More

Australian Coastal Systems: A New Book from Andy Short

Recently I received a copy of a book written by Andy Short entitled Australian Coastal Systems: Beaches, Barriers and Compartments (2019, Springer, Coastal Reference Library 32). It has been produced as a two-volume set containing 1241 pages, 550 figures and over 1000 references. The work is dedicated to all who have worked and published on the Australian coast. Read More

28th Annual NSW Coastal Conference - Terrigal, 2019

This year the NSW Coastal Conference was held at Terrigal and hosted by the Central Coast Council. In its 28th year, these conferences are always held at a location outside of Sydney. It is a testimony to the interest by local councils in running these gatherings of our coastal “family”. Read More