The Australian Beach Safety and Management Program - Surf Life Saving Australia's Approach to Beach Safety and Coastal Planning


    The Australian Beach Safety and Management Program (ABSMP) is concerned with coastal hazards and their impact on public safety on all 7,000 plus Australian ocean beaches. It has developed a database for all ocean beaches, containing their location, access, nature, physical characteristics, facilities, usage and beach and surf conditions. This information is used to determine the beach and surf hazards which, combined with public usage, indicate the level of public risk. The risk level is in turn used to determine the resources required to maintain adequate levels of public safety on each beach. At present coastal management is primarily concerned with hazards that impact property, structures and the environment. The impact of beach hazards on public safety has long been ignored in coastal management policy. Now that these hazards can be accurately assessed and quantified for all beaches, it is time to incorporate this information in coastal planning and development, so as to maintain our high levels of public beach safety, and thereby minimise public risk and litigation on our increasingly popular beaches.

    Previous chapter
    Next chapter