Will drones save Central Queensland's beaches?
WHEN it comes to the region's coastline, Livingstone Shire councillor Adam Belot says there are few records of its gradual change over the decades.
But new technology, including the use of drones, is making it easier to catalogue years of data measuring the changing coastline.
Cr Belot put forward a notice of motion in last week's council meeting, proposing a report on the cost of engaging drone monitoring services to capture images of the most sensitive beaches in the region.
Among these are Putney and Fisherman's beaches on Great Keppel Island, Muskers, Lammermoor and Kemp.
Cr Belot's request for the report into the coastal monitoring strategies was supported, and council officers will report back with options.
He said monitoring and understanding the region's beaches was going to be critical over time, allowing governments and council to see the impacts of man-made structures and interventions.
"There is much to gain by having accurate data by way of aerial photography,” Cr Belot said.
"Now is the time to have the organisation undertake those sorts of data collection.”
Cr Belot said the decreasing cost of drone technology made it possible for council to consider investing in this type of monitoring, something the mining and resources industry had been utilising for some time.
The technology has a capability to measure the depth of the ocean and sand volumes among other elements.
In researching coastal erosion, Cr Belot said he found only a handful of photographs of places like The Causeway in the 1940s.
Using drones to capture images of the coast will allow for an accurate record to be created and map changes over time.
Cr Belot said this would allow any problems to be identified before they became critical.
"I wanted to ensure we're on the front foot and leading in this space,” he said.
"Livingstone is already well advancing coastal management and this will further that.”