Turners Beach – Leith Coastal Adaption Pathway Project

The Tasmanian Coastal Adaption Decision Pathways (or TCAP) extension project is a project established with funding from the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Tasmanian Climate Change Office and the Australian Government’s Natural Disaster Resilience Programme (NDRP), administered in Tasmania by the State Emergency Service. The project is managed by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office (TCCO) working cooperatively with local government. The TCAP extension project applied earlier developed TCAP methodology to develop coastal adaption pathways for local communities. The focus of the TCAP extension project was on a short-term adaption pathways (to 2050), while also considering the longer term impacts (to 2100).

The aim of the Turners Beach-Leith Coastal Adaption Pathways report is to inform the Council, residents and visitors of Turners Beach, Leith and the wider community about coastal risks in the light of sea level rise resulting from climate change. It considers ways to respond to risks while also considering the values of living in Turners Beach and Leith and other benefits such as beach recreation, fishing and swimming.

A better understanding of the issues and possible reposes will help the community to make informed decisions to respond to sea level rise and it potential impacts.

The report starts with an overview of the coastal hazards (inundation and erosion) at the present day and expected changes in the future as a result of expected sea level rise. The report then describes the potential damages that may occur as a result of sea level rise and extreme storm events. It also describes how likely it is that damages would occur, now and in the future.

While coastal risks may rise over time, the area also exhibits a range of specific values, such as access to the beach, which make it attractive to live and recreate there. In deciding how to respond to sea level rise it is important to not only consider the risks but also the values or benefits of using the land. The report therefore considers any values that may be foregone if new development is prohibited or lost if existing development is required to retreat.

The final part of the report provides an overview of potential responses or options to adapt to sea level rise. This section considers those options that are potentially relevant in the Turners Beach and Leith area. It describes three possible pathways for adaption, each being distinct in the type of values it aims to maintain and the types of adaption options associated with each pathway. The pathways are neither predictions nor recommendations.

This section also presents the results of the community workshops where the pathways were explored with members of the community to establish how things may change, how it would work and what would be a preferred pathway for adaption.

The last section provides recommendations to the Council on the way forward.

Consultation has been undertaken with the Council through workshops in July 2013 (project background briefing), November 2013 (presentation of interim report) and May 2014 (presentation of Final Report).

The interim report was considered and the pathway options were explored in a community workshop held on Saturday, 30 November 2013 in Turners Beach.

At the Council Meeting held on 21 July 2014, the Council formally received the Turners Beach-Leith Coastal Adaptation Pathway Project final report and adopted in-principle the report recommendations as follows:

  1. To work with the State Government to develop framework for the development of coastal adaption plans that have State backing and recognition, and balance the priorities of both the local ad wider community;
  2. For the council to take a local leadership role in coordinating and administering adaption management in the study area, and to consistently communicate and consult with the community and relevant stakeholders;
  3. Ensure that a framework is adopted to ensure appropriate research is done to make decisions on the basis of evidence;
  4. That an approach be formulated to identify the budget required and the sources of funds to raise the money required. It is considered that this should be done on a staged basis over a period of about five years, with priority given to identification of and responding to erosion risks and sediment transport.

To view a copy of the final report, click here