Monday, March 1, 2010

Development could create waves

Bill Hoffman in the Sunshine Coast Daily (Australia): A precedent-setting Victorian government decision to refuse a coastal development because of potential risk of erosion and climate change induced rising sea levels may have implications around Australia. The decision to over-ride the Moyne Shire Council approval of a 22-lot subdivision between the Moyne River and the ocean in an area that already contained expensive housing is thought to be the first justified by data which estimates sea level rises between 0.8 metres and 1.4 metres during the next 100 years.

Sunshine Coast council is already developing a probable maximum flood line as part of the statement of proposals for its new planning scheme, which would determine areas where further development should be avoided. Environment portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said there would be no upward densification in areas at risk of storm surge and climate change impacts.

Council planning portfolio head Russell Green said yesterday that future generations would bear the fruit or the folly of decisions being made now. “We have to be responsible about how we manage coastal development,” Mr Green said.

Modelling has been done to inform the council’s structure plan for the Maroochydore Principal Activity Centre and was the reason for the open space and drainage provisions within it. Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden said last week that councils had asked for clear directions on where appropriate development could occur in coastal areas.

“Through the Victorian Coastal Strategy we are providing certainty for landowners, developers and the community,” he said. “Coastal communities can be confident that land developed in their region will meet the requirements of the strategy and be safe for development.”….

Face-like stone formations in the coast of Victoria, Australia, shot by Alpapad, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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