Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'Managed retreat' to sandbag city?

Ben Cubby in the Coastal Times (Australia): New state government sea level rise guidelines will make it easier for people to fortify their homes against the effects of climate change, but local councils said the policy would lead to ''ad hoc'' walls of sandbags that will not hold back the sea.

The policy, unveiled last weekend by the Special Minister of State, Chris Hartcher, overturns the previous strategy of ''managed retreat'' that sought to limit new developments in low-lying coastal areas.

Large areas of Sydney are expected to face more frequent inundation as sea levels creep up. They include Collaroy, Caringbah, Kurnell and Manly Vale, as well as low-lying parts of inland suburbs such as Marrickville, federal government maps show.

But Mr Hartcher said the rate of sea level rise predicted by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - an average of up to 90 centimetres along the NSW coast by the end of the century - contained too much uncertainty for the government to give general advice to local governments.

''The new policy recognises that there are a range of IPCC sea level rise projections,'' he said. ''Because of this uncertainty, the government does not consider it appropriate to recommend specific statewide sea level rise projections or benchmarks for use by councils.''...

A view of Narrabeen from the Collaroy Plateau in Sydney, shot by Sardaka, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are 2 separate but connected issues in Hartchers comments, one is sea level rise the other is coastal erosion. In NSW the data shows no increase in the rate of sea level rise for 100+ years, that is not to say that we may see a problem in future decades. The other issue is coastal erosion which is an immediate problem in some small areas, the Labor NSWgovernment introduced legislation that all but prevented people protecting their own homes, Hartcher has corrected this inequity. Regarding dangerouse sea level rise, if it should occur, I live in the Brisbane Waters estuary NSW where council identified 9000 properties at risk by 2100 ( assuming we see 90cm rise?) the value of those properties is around $5 Billion and council identified a solution in the form of a lock to maintain current sea level within the estuary at a cost of $150Million. Surely this should be regarded as a very economical fix to a problem that may manifest in 40 to 90 years?.