Shorncliffe Escarpment management plan

Brisbane City Council is developing a management plan to protect the Shorncliffe Escarpment.

The Shorncliffe Escarpment is a significant natural landscape feature on Brisbane's northern foreshore. The prominent headland with its framed views provides an iconic backdrop to the Sandgate Foreshore Parklands recreation areas and the Shorncliffe Pier.

The proposed management plan will provide the future vision for the escarpment and actions for how Council plans to manage the escarpment in the short, medium and long term to ensure its ecological and recreational values are maintained and enhanced.


This table provides summary information about the Shorncliffe Escarpment management plan project including address, ward, project and latest update.
Address Shorncliffe Escarpment - Sandgate Foreshores Park
Ward Deagon
Project outcomes A management plan for Shorncliffe Escarpment
Latest update

Community engagement and technical findings.

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About the project

Council is developing a management plan for the Shorncliffe Escarpment to nurture and protect this high-profile natural landscape feature. 

Council completed a comprehensive assessment of the escarpment in late 2018, which included establishing critical baselines data on:

  • erosion and bank stability
  • vegetation health and composition
  • biodiversity values
  • soil composition.

The investigations identified that use of the area has accelerated natural erosion processes, affecting the health and stability of the escarpment. Some public safety risks were also identified, which Council has addressed as a priority to ensure the public can continue to safely visit the escarpment.

Project area inclusions

The Shorncliffe Escarpment forms an edge to Bramble Bay that extends approximately 2.3 kilometres from Cabbage Tree Creek in the south to the Sandgate Town Hall in the north.

The escarpment includes the area between the upper pathway at the top of the embankment area and the “inland” edge of the lower pathway along the foreshore.

The larger recreation areas within Moora Park and the Sandgate Foreshores Park are outside of the scope of this project, as is the foreshore area including the seawall and the pier.

Other Council initiatives and projects undergoing concurrent development within the local area, such as the Sandgate District Neighbourhood Plan are outside the scope of this project.

Project benefits and themes

The benefits of the project are to:

  • protect and enhance the elements that make the Shorncliffe Escarpment unique
  • understand and develop a plan to address the current condition of the escarpment, including erosion, bank stability, vegetation health, composition and biodiversity
  • improve user experience, amenity and safety along the escarpment
  • support Brisbane’s Future Blueprint principles to “protect and create greenspace” and “empower and engage residents”
  • develop a community inspired, shared vision for the Shorncliffe Escarpment.

The Shorncliffe Escarpment Management Plan vision will be shaped around five key themes, including:

  • site significance
  • erosion cycle
  • scenic views
  • access and amenity
  • revegetation and weed management.

Community engagement outcomes

Council captured more than 200 online responses with over 70 people visiting Council's information kiosks. The survey gathered information about people's connection to the Shorncliffe Escarpment, including how often they visit the area, sections they frequent and types of activities they participate in. Residents were also asked to share what they value about the area.

Survey respondents placed high value on the views, scenic amenity and overall beauty of the area. This was closely followed by the natural environment values of the location. Access to the escarpment was also highly valued, with respondents wanting it to be easier for everyone to to enjoy.

Council thanks everyone who provided feedback on the Shorncliffe Escarpment. Council will use the feedback to benchmark environmental attitudes, behaviours and priorities, helping shape the future of the area.

Technical investigation findings

Council undertook thorough technical investigations on Shorncliffe Escarpment. These were undertaken by a range of specialists including geotechnical engineers, soil scientists, arboriculturalists, ecologists, landscape architects and water engineers.

These investigations established that there is significant diversity of soil types, geotechnical conditions and vegetation types and formations (including weed species) present across the escarpment. A number of different rehabilitation methods will be considered in the development of the Shorncliffe Escarpment management plan.

The investigations also highlighted the impact of human activity on the escarpment, including erosion, unauthorised dumping of garden waste and unauthorised interference with established trees and other vegetation. The future management plan will investigate options to minimise these negative impacts on the escarpment.

Further geotechnical stabilisation works will be required in the short to medium terms to ensure the ongoing safety of the community.

Project timing

This table provides project time information about the Shorncliffe Escarpment management plan project.
Mid 2019 Community engagement and feedback.
Late 2019 Provide a summary of key technical and engagement findings to the community.
Early 2022 Release draft management plan summary.
Late 2022 Commence management plan strategies, subject to funding.
Beyond 2022 Implement medium-to-long-term management plan strategies.

More information

If you would like to ask questions or find out more about the project, you can:

Last updated: 6 August 2021
Topics: shorncliffe