Shorncliffe Escarpment management plan

Council has prepared the Shorncliffe Escarpment Management Plan (SEMP) to provide evidence-based strategic guidance for the use, restoration, maintenance and protection of the escarpment environment. This is a live management plan that will continue to evolve as priorities at the site change. A summary of the SEMP is now available for the community to read.


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

Summary of the Shorncliffe Management Plan released.

Download the plan documents.

About the project

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

Council has developed 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 2018-19, 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.

The  SEMP presents a vision for the escarpment and proposed strategies for managing the escarpment in the short, medium and long term to ensure its ecological and recreational values are maintained and enhanced.

The delivery of specific on-ground works will be determined according to prioritisation of works and allocation of funding relative to citywide priorities. Council will continue to monitor conditions at the escarpment to ensure the safety of visitors to the area.

Proposed works

Following the weather events of February 2022, assessments have been undertaken to assess the impact of the storms on the escarpment. Works have been prioritised to address areas of the site most in need of attention. Priority works will include slope stabilisation, erosion control, replacing or repairing damaged footpaths and stairs and removing unstable rocks.

Works will be funded by a $4.3M grant provided through the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure 3 (LRCI 3) grant program. Works funded through the grant are scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and be completed by mid-2023.

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.

Key project findings and proposed strategies

The SEMP proposes the following Vision for the Shorncliffe Escarpment:

The Shorncliffe Escarpment will be cared for and managed as an iconic destination within the Brisbane Foreshore Parklands, and the escarpment’s crucial contribution to the sense of place for Sandgate and Shorncliffe will be reinforced.

The intrinsic scenic, environmental and recreational values of the escarpment, taken as a whole, will be protected, maintained and enhanced to provide an accessible and safe coastal environment for visitors and the local community.

The Shorncliffe Escarpment landscape, or ecosystem, has been impacted by compounding influences which have degraded the site over a long period of time. These include human activities, natural erosion, topography and harsh climatic conditions.

The SEMP outlines overarching management strategies for the escarpment based on two themes: Natural Systems and Recreational Use.

Strategies for managing the Shorncliffe Escarpment focus on maximising appropriate recreational opportunities whilst simultaneously supporting natural systems and protecting the natural areas.

Community cooperation is vital for protecting the fragile ecosystem that exists on the escarpment. You can help protect the Shorncliffe Escarpment by:

  • reading the Shorncliffe Escarpment Management Plan summary
  • only using designated pathways and driveways to access the Shorncliffe Escarpment to avoid damaging the fragile ecosystem
  • reporting any unlawful activities such as vegetation vandalism and illegal dumping to Council online or by phoning Council on 07 3403 8888.

Investigations and community consultation

The Shorncliffe Escarpment Management Plan is based on findings from a detailed landscape study conducted in 2018-19, where Council investigated the base conditions at the escarpment, including a review of the natural processes and recreational use. This was also informed by feedback collected from the community in June 2019 regarding how the escarpment is accessed and valued by 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.
Mid 2022 Release SEMP summary.
Late 2022 Commence SEMP strategies, subject to funding.
Beyond 2022

 Implement medium-to-long-term SEMP strategies, subject to funding.


Project documents

More information

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

Last updated: 28 July 2022
Topics: shorncliffe

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