Lake Macquarie Council is planning ahead for the impacts of climate change.
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.”
Council said the draft plan has been put together after more than five years of community consultation and during that time about 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,” Karen 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 including on-ground works, planning and development controls; maintenance, monitoring and reporting; piloting, research and innovation; advocacy and engagement; and 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,” Karen 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.”
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.
Karen Partington said the cost of many actions would need to be shared across various levels of government, as well as the private sector.
“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.
Image credit: Lake Macquarie Council