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Monday, December 9, 2013

Coastal Planning in Queensland: Back to the Future

Just eight short months after releasing new technical guidelines for managing the risk of climate change and sea-level rise in coastal planning and 3 months after releasing a draft coastal management plan that identifies sea-level rise as a coastal hazard, the government of Queensland, Australia has decided that sea-level rise is now no longer a hazard that needs to be included in coastal planning. The 80 cm provision for sea-level rise has been stripped from state planning policy due to its perceived potential to inhibit economic development, and local governments are now on their own to figure out how to account for this risk. Queensland joins New South Wales in rolling back progressive policies to account for future sea-level rise. In both instances, the policy shifts are a consequence of state elections where the Labor party was ousted by the more conservative Liberal party. There seems little hope of building societal resilience when governments can't maintain consistent policies regarding adaptation and risk management for more than a few years at a time.    

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