The Australian Government will invest $3.2 million to help demonstrate how coastal communities can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
The investment will support partnerships with local governments, infrastructure operators and major utilities to explore how planning and investment decisions need to recognise the increasing impacts of climate change over time, particularly for long-lived assets.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said that the science of climate change is clear and there is an increasing need to build resilience in our coastal communities to the impacts, such as sea level rise.
“Climate change will lead to considerable risks to assets and productivity in the coastal zone. For example, it will lead to increased flooding of communities, greater damage costs, more frequent expenditure on repair, and likely interruptions to the supply of essential services.”
The challenge for infrastructure owners and decision makers is identifying when assets are likely to fail, and when action is required to ensure delivery of the services that we take for granted.
“We need to plan now to address these challenges, including how and when we should invest into the future,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“What we learn from these partnerships will help decision makers in major cities and local and regional communities understand the adaptation options available,” he said.
This funding addresses a call from local governments for partnerships that go beyond risk assessment to identifying the action required to protect a community from climate change impacts over time.
More information on this initiative can be found on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website www.climatechange.gov.au.