Draft assesses climate change impacts

Potential impacts of climate change on communities are being assessed with draft guidelines from the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA).

The LGA has prepared the model with input from the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, the SA Departments of Premier and Cabinet, and Environment and Natural Resources and 15 Councils.

Regional Development and Natural Resource Management bodies in the Central Region stretching from Yorke Peninsula to Flinders Ranges also had input.

LGA President Kym McHugh said areas in which the region would be vulnerable to climate change impacts would be given an integrated assessment from the guidelines.

“It is about getting key agencies working in regions to identify and respond to possible long-term changes from climate change, such as increased frequency of coastal storm surge and flooding, shifts in rainfall patterns, higher risk of bushfires, or a greater frequency of flooding,” Mr McHugh said.

Mr McHugh said it is important the information is provided to communities once there is agreement between a range of stakeholder bodies.

According to Mr McHugh, the Central Region is now discussing how to implement the recommendations from the report.

This implementation is in concert with the regional development and natural resources management boards.

"We're having a discussion now about the process of community engagement which will be crucial to moving forward for all parties,” Mr McHugh said.

Mr McHugh said that impacts being discussed were long-term ones.

“2050 may seem like a long way away, but if you are talking about impact on multi-million dollar storm drains then you need that long to plan for replacement with different specifications,” he said.

He said that two groups of metropolitan Adelaide councils were now using the draft guidelines.

These areas working on potential impacts include Onkaparinga, Marion and Holdfast Bay in the South and Charles Sturt, West Torrens and Pt Adelaide-Enfield in the West.

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