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Advanced mapping program to help plan protection for Victoria’s 2000 kilometre $17.6 billion coastline amid fears of rising sea levels

Posted by gmarkets on 3 September, 2007

The stretches of Victoria’s coasts most vulnerable to the effects of anticipated global warming were to be identified in an advanced mapping program for the state’s 2000 kilometres of shoreline, according to Peter Hannam, reported The Age (27/8/2007, p. 4). Improved planning: The State Government expected the two-year program – ‘Future Coasts: Preparing Victoria’s Coast for Climate Change’ – to provide a much better understanding of the risks from rising sea levels and stronger storm surges, the newspaper said. A key objective of the study will be to improve planning for developments. The Government estimates the value of the coast at about $17.6 billion. Cliff erosion was already “a great concern” along parts of Bayside’s 17 kilometres of foreshore, Bayside city councillor Michael Norris said, “but we don’t have the resources to build seawalls or renourish beaches, which may be the solutions”.

Storm surges, cyclones, floods all possible events: Minister for Climate Change Gavin Jennings said the study would also help in flood planning, particularly in places such as Loch Sport in East Gippsland, where river systems create changing channels and sand bars. “It’s very important to use this material as broadly as possible,” Mr Jennings said. Tony Coleman, chief risk officer for Insurance Australia Group, the country’s largest home and car insurer, said while Queensland might face additional risks as cyclones became stronger and moved further south, there were also many parts of the Victorian and NSW coast that were low-lying and vulnerable to storm surges. The United Nations’ main climate change panel this year estimated sea levels would rise by nine to 88 centimetres by 2100, in part because of melting polar ice.

The Age, 27/8/2007, p. 4

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