Archive | August, 2012

Planning for Climate Change in the Coastal Regions of New South Wales

28 Aug

 

Newcastle forshore

By David Holland

The Risk Model, as described in the following paper,  is an approach for local councils in NSW to plan for future climate change induced sea level rise in an equitable and proactive way.

It allows local government to approve developments that are under the maximum State Government of NSW benchmarks set at 900mm over the present flood levels while at the same time reduces risks to litigation due to damage of properties from climate change brought by property owners who’s developments are below this maximum standard set by the State Government. (Often a maximum standard set by State Governments become a minimum standard for local government due to the threat of litigation by land owners.)

This standard has become an enormous problem to land owners in at risk locations along the coast of New South Wales. In recent times insurance policy premiums have skyrocketed. Land values have been affected and general political hysteria is evident. Many protests by land owners have been seen on the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia but council seem unable to bring a solution to the problem. Councils have reacted to political pressure by removing notification on land records of land affected by the potential of flood due to climate change. This action leaves individual councils and maybe the councilors open to litigation in the future when a climate change flood event inevitably occurs.

This action by the councils is brought about by a head in the sand belief that climate change has not been proven and no evidence locally can be seen.

The New South Wales Government seems to be paralysed by the disquiet on the coast. Seemingly unable or unwilling to discuss the issues and look for solutions for the social and economic problems mounting in the coastal regions.

The attached paper written in January 2010 addresses the issues and provides a series of solutions to the dilemmas created by this State of New South Wales policy. The paper discusses solutions to the misunderstood threats of the effects of climate change to low-lying properties in both the long-term and the short-term.

The paper also predicts the now evident effects of the policy and worsening social effects of the reaction to the policy.

This policy without an identified strategy has caused insurance premiums are going through the roof, and at the same time caused the market prices of properties to plummet. As these market reactions continue, we are to expect unimaginable social disruptions unless positive steps are taken urgently. This paper sets a benchmark for a constructive strategy to manage at risk land due to the effects of climate change in coastal regions.

Following is the paper that discusses some solutions to climate induced sea level rise:

Planning for Climate Change in the Coastal Regions of New South Wales