Preparing Central Coast for unavoidable impacts of climate change is imperative. Australia’s climate is clearly changing and increasing temperatures, sea level rise, changing rainfall patterns and more frequent and intense extreme climatic events are likely (AGO,2007).
As a coastal community, Central Coast must plan for the impacts of climate change. Risks of inundation in low-lying areas and accelerated coastal erosion are particular concerns (Department of Climate Change, 2009). Given the uncertainties, but high probability that the sea level will continue to rise over the long term, it is important for the Council to determine how it will beneficially use coastal areas while recognising the long term planning need to protect, accommodate or retreat as sea levels rise.
The Central Coast Council recognises the importance of committing to the long term and strategic considerations of climate change and has included ‘The Environment and Sustainable Infrastructure” as one of the five directions in the Strategic Plan 2009-2014. To achieve this strategic direction, the plan included the following strategies and key actions:
“…Contribute to the preservation of the natural environment…
Investigate and plan for the effects of climate change on the local area;
Implement suitable climate change adaption and/or mitigation strategies…”.
The Council appreciated that we must act now to reduce greenhouse pollution to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to protect our regions long-term prosperity, environment and way of life. The Council also appreciates that we must act now to adapt to the impacts of climate change we are already experiencing.
As a first step in its response to climate change, the Council has adopted a Climate Action Plan (2010). The plan outlines that the Council’s response to climate change will involve a dual approach:
- Management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation);
- Making adjustments to exiting activities and practices so that vulnerability to potential impacts associated with climate change can be reduced or opportunities realised (adaption)
For more climate change information, please refer to the following links: