Friday, February 12, 2010

Tensions rise in some Australian towns on on sea levels

The Manly Daily (Australia): The peninsula councils are calling for consistency in federal and state guidelines for sea-level rise, saying the variation between the two leaves the councils at risk of legal action. The State Government estimates the sea level will rise 0.9m by 2110 but the Federal Government’s estimate is 1.1m.

On Thursday night the four SHOROC councils - Manly, Warringah, Pittwater and Mosman - met at Harbord Diggers’ Club to discuss their susceptibility to rising sea levels. Mosman mayor Anne Connon says councils need consistent guidelines for sea level rise “to enable robust planning”. She says the different estimates made by the federal and state governments “make it difficult for councils to plan and potentially will put us at risk of legal action”.

Owners of properties affected by sea-level rise could only take legal action against a council if the council failed to use the most up-to-date information available at the time any development was approved. With variation between estimates for sea-level rise, councils are unsure which guideline to use when assessing developments in areas that could be affected.

…Manly Council general manager Henry Wong says the council’s role is to provide as much information as possible so people can make informed decision when buying or selling properties. “No amount of litigation is ever going to address climate change,” he said. “The issue is about preparing for it and addressing it at the individual, community, state and national levels.” …

A fortification located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in Obelisk Bay, Mosman, also known as the Beehive casemate or bunker which was carved into the side of the cliff. Shot by Adam.J.W.C., Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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