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Five kilometre coastal development ban under consideration in oz

Although local councils have examined how their particular areas might be affected by rising sea levels and taken this into account in planning policies, this is the first time that an Australian state has put a figure on how much the sea is expected to rise.

A draft policy has been drawn up and official guidelines for planners are expected soon that will need to be implemented by all councils with coastal land.
Queensland’s coastline has been a development hot spot but the new guidelines are expected to put an end to large scale building on land considered at risk from climate change. Other states are expected to follow the Queensland example.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts sea levels in Australia will rise 30cm by 2050 and 80cm by 2100. If these figures were adopted by local councils it would have an effect on coastal development in all major coastal towns.
 
But the areas most affected would be Mooloolaba and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, where most of the beach disappeared after strong storms in May, and parts of the Gold Coast and Yeppoon, Mackay and Cairns further north.

A spokesman for the Queensland state government said the new policy would not apply to existing houses and units on the beachfront but only to future development and redevelopment on existing sites.
 
Developers and planning officials welcomed the draft report. Greg Tupicoff of the Planning Institute of Australia said it would give some certainty to developers and flexibility to local councils. ‘That’s really what industry wants, a combination of certainty and flexibility,’ he said.

 

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