Sunday, July 17, 2011

Higher floors, lower roofs: the Australian town being shrunk by climate change angst

Stuart Rintoul in the Australian cues the whaaa-ambulance for a coastal town: Port Albert, on Victoria's southeast coast, is a pretty-as-a-picture fishing village that is at war with the science of climate change. Residents in the village have been told that because of rising sea levels, new housing has to be built on stumps almost 1.5m above ground level, despite the fact many of the town's original colonial buildings have withstood time and tide on ground level without ill effect since the 19th century.

At the same time, a heritage overlay in the village, introduced more than a decade ago, prevents roof lines being built higher than the roof of the local pub, which is claimed to be Victoria's oldest continuously licensed hotel.

Residents have seen land values plummet by 38 per cent in the past year under the weight of the overlays. Investment in the town has stalled. And Port Albert Progress Association president Donna Eades says that, with rising floor levels and roof lines limited by the height of the pub, "the next generation of Port Albert residents will have to be pygmies".

Ms Eades says Port Albert residents have been made the "guinea pigs" for rising sea-level predictions, while the charm and character of the historic township has been sacrificed to climate change fashion. "We're sick to death of the climate change issue and how it's impacting our community," she says....

Port Albert in Victoria, Australia, shot by Phillip Capper, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

1 comment:

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You are right, what was I thinking.
Great job and a good theme. And thanks for the mention.
Thanks for the kind words and the plug. Much appreciated.