Sea-level risk areas under review: MAPS

EUROBODALLA Shire Council will review the areas it has deemed at risk of sea-level rise inundation in light of its recently adopted benchmarks.

Currently 6000 properties throughout the Eurobodalla Shire have been identified at risk of sea-level rise, from Durras to Narooma.

In November the council adopted a 50-year planning sea-level benchmark of 230mm to mitigate the risks of sea-level rise, rather than the 100-year projection outlined in its previous interim policy.

The council will continue to use 2100 projections for major infrastructure, such as hospitals and coastal protection works, as well as new rezoning and related subdivisions.

A Eurobodalla Shire Council spokesman said the reduced planning time-frame for residential homes meant the level of hazard being considered had “potentially reduced”.

“In accordance with the council resolution the interim policy and associated maps will be reviewed to account for the South Coast regional sea-level rise policy and planning framework and adopted sea-level rise projections,” he said.

“The revised policy will then be reported back to council for consideration.”

The council will also resume the preparation of its Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), which it began in 2010.

It put the project on hold when the NSW Government repealed the state benchmarks and enabled councils to set their own.

Until the council has completed its CZMP, people proposing development in areas potentially affected by sea-level rise will still be required to undertake an investigation of risk, which usually involves engaging a consultant to identify individual property sea-level projections.

“The investigation is required to identify the hazards impacting the development site or which may impact the development site under projected sea-level rise conditions,” the spokesman said.

“The exception to this is where the proposed development is exempt or complying development or includes an addition of less than 30m2.”

The spokesman said once the CZMP was complete however it would replace the interim policy and dispense with the need for individual property owners to prepare a study with a development application.

He said the council would review its adopted projections every five to seven years when updated information was released by groups such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Actual tidal data will also be reviewed to monitor the projections from modelling,” he said.

“This will enable council and the community to continue to plan and respond to the best available and competent scientific opinion.”

The spokesman added that council had a legal obligation to consider coastal hazards, including projected sea-level rise, when making planning and development decisions.

“Council’s policy and planning response is about ensuring that the risks are identified and appropriate mitigation measures implemented including good design and construction responses,” he said.

“This approach aims to ensure that the economic value of development is maximised.

“It is good business practice to determine the likely risks over the life of an investment and ensure that there are sound mitigation measures in place to address that risk, and ensure the investment is sound and resilient.

“Council’s response to consideration of coastal and other hazards is no different.”

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