Sea level rise public forum for Eurobodalla

RESIDENTS who have an interest in sea level rise and coastal planning are invited to join a panel of experts for a public forum on sea level rise in Batemans Bay on Monday, April 28.

Mayor Lindsay Brown said Eurobodalla Shire Council had organised the forum to help the community understand some of the issues and science around sea level rise.

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The forum is a response to a motion put forward by councillor Milton Leslight and recent interest and discussion on the science of sea level rise locally.

“These issues include insuring coastal properties, NSW government policy, historic monitoring of local tidal levels and global and regional sea level rise projections and these will be discussed by our panel of expert speakers,” Clr Brown said.

The expert speakers include Dr John Church, leader of the CSIRO’s Coasts and Sea Level team; Karl Sullivan, the general manager of Policy Risk and Disaster at the Insurance Council of Australia, and Edward Couriel, the senior engineer of the Manly Hydraulics Lab.

Phil Watson, principal coastal specialist at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage will also be on the panel.

By coming along to the public forum, residents can find out how these national and international experts are exploring and addressing sea level rise in their respective fields, and then ask their own questions.

“We are very lucky these speakers have agreed to come to Batemans Bay and share their knowledge and experience with us,” he said.

The Eurobodalla Sea Level Public Forum is on Monday at 1pm at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Flora Crescent and is free.

Clr Leslight said the public forum would be watched very carefully by the State Government and many other coastal councils and coastal communities along the NSW coastline.

“The previous Labour/Greens government policy has had a devastating impact on development, property values, and confidence in many coastal communities like the Eurobodalla,” he said.

“The current government is dismantling those policies informing Councils to use evidence based data for developing sea level rise planning and dispense with the benchmarks promoted by the previous government which remain in use by some coastal councils, including the Eurobodalla.”

Draft climate change strategy exhibited

Meanwhile a draft strategy to establish a framework and responsibilities regarding climate change and its own corporate sustainability has been placed on public exhibition by the Bega Valley Shire Council.

Councillors resolved at their April 16 meeting to exhibit the strategy and to congratulate the staff involved.

Council’s Group Manager of Planning and Environment, Andrew Woodley, said the strategy identifies the risks Council and the community face from climate change as well as the achievable actions that can be implemented.

“The strategy is predominantly focussed on Council’s own operations and integrates risk management, legislated responsibility, greenhouse gas reduction and appropriate adaption strategies,” he said.

“It provides background information and details the range of issues that Council faces in being both an effective representative of the community and a corporate entity.

“It also identifies the areas where Council will focus its efforts and reduce the impacts of our own operations.

“Four key areas for action are identified in the draft strategy. These are: leading the development and implementation of best practice policy and programs, reducing greenhouse emissions and improving operational efficiency, managing hazards and adapting effectively to environmental changes, and building a stronger local economy.

“As part of our strategy to adapt to and plan for climate change we are identifying opportunities to support the community through backing innovation in markets and technologies.

Mr Woodley said the climate change strategy specifically identified building a resilient local economy as important to long-term sustainability of the shire.

“Through supporting new market opportunities and encouraging the shire in the localised production of goods and services, Council can build a resilient community more adept at addressing local and global climate change impacts,” he said.

The Climate Change Strategy is available on Council’s website, > Your Council > Public Exhibition.

Copies of the strategy can also be viewed at Council’s Zingel Place office, or through the shire libraries.

Public comment and submissions are invited until Friday, May 23.

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