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Draft plan aims to manage risks from sea level rise


Pelican foreshore would be extensively remediated and channel walls bolstered under a draft 10-year plan to help suburbs in south-east Lake Macquarie manage the impacts of flooding and sea level rise.

 

Lake Macquarie City Council’s draft Local Adaptation Plan (LAP) outlines a raft of actions to help residents in Pelican, Blacksmiths, Caves Beach, Swansea and surrounding areas plan for the possible impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

Manager Environmental Systems Karen Partington said detailed studies of the low-lying suburbs had identified them as vulnerable to projected impacts of sea level rise.

“These impacts range from damage to houses and public infrastructure to changes to our coastal environment and lifestyle,” she said.

“The draft LAP will help our community prepare for, adapt to and minimise these impacts.”

The draft LAP is the result of more than five years of community consultation, during which some 180 potential management options were identified and discussed with community volunteers and other stakeholders.

“This is a plan codesigned from end to end with a working group comprising community members from Pelican, Blacksmiths, Swansea and surrounds, many of whom are directly affected by these issues,” Ms Partington said.

The draft plan, designed by the community working group, condenses those options into 30 actions to be implemented over the next 10 years across six categories:

· On-ground works

· Planning and development controls

· Maintenance, monitoring and reporting

· Piloting, research and innovation

· Advocacy and engagement

· Governance and funding

“Together, these actions are the first stage of a longer-term strategic plan to adapt to climate change and sea level rise,” Ms Partington said.

“In the longer term, trigger points will be identified to get the wheels turning on further measures only when and where they are needed.”

“Monitoring and reporting of coastal hazards by Council and the community will help underpin the timing of these actions.”

The draft LAP says remediation of Pelican foreshore would extend from Naru Point to the Pelican groynes.

Sea walls and other protective measures along Swansea Channel would be maintained and extended over the next 10 years.

Pilot projects using tidal gates will also continue to help manage the impacts of frequent inundation from king tides and other coastal processes.

Ms Partington said the cost of many actions would need to be shared across various levels of government, as well as the private sector.

“Some of these things will require considerable investment,” she said.

“But if we don’t prepare and plan to take action now, the financial, social and environmental costs will be far greater down the track.”

The draft LAP is on public exhibition until 12 September. Go to shape.lakemac.com.au to have your say.

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