Coastal communities land $3.2m adaptation

By Paul Hemsley
“Long-lived assets” and infrastructure will be the focus to plan investment in sewerage and stormwater systems, roads and residential housing.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet said sea level rises increase the need for communities to build resilience to the impacts.
“Climate change will lead to considerable risks to assets and productivity in the coastal zone,” Mr Combet said.
“It will lead to increased flooding of communities, greater damage costs, more frequent expenditure on repair, and likely interruptions to the supply of essential services”.
According to the 2009 Australian Government publication Climate Change Risk to Australia’s Coast: A First Pass National Assessment, the estimated current value of existing residential buildings at risk from inundation from a 1.1 metre sea level rise ranges from $41 billion to $63 billion (2008
replacement value).
Damage costs will also include the loss of public assets, infrastructure and ecosystems.
A Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) spokesperson said adaptation options may include ‘protection’, ‘retreat’, ‘accommodation’, and ‘do nothing’.
“The key focus of this project is developing partnership arrangements with regional stakeholders to best identify appropriate adaptation options,” the spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, “salaries and capital items will only be funded where it can be demonstrated that there is a direct relationship to the project”.
The DCCEE will be identifying alternative decision pathways for ongoing investment in or the relocation of an asset or settlement over decadal timeframes.
Local councils will volunteer their participation through an ‘Expression of Interest’ process, closing on May 23.
The DCCEE expects the first partnership projects to be underway in June.

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