Policy Guidance Brief: Building resilient coastal communities and ecosystems
Around 85% of the Australian population live within 50 km of the coast, which represents a great challenge for coastal managers. On the one hand, they have to deal with the impacts of future climate change and sea-level rise and, on the other, they have to cover the populations increased development demands, infrastructure planning, renewal and maintenance, and environmental protection. This factsheet describes the current and future effects and impacts of climate change on coastal zones, and emphasizes that storm damage and inundation impose the greatest risks to people and infrastructure in those areas. It also provides several actions to be considered in order to make progress in climate change adaptation planning at the right time and suited to a particular location. For effective management of the coastal zone by local governments the following key requirements are outlined: (i) consistent guidance from state and federal government on how coastal zones should be managed, with legislative support that links land-use planning, conservation and hazard protection, (ii) systems that provide local governments with the authority to ensure compliance, and (iii) time and investment in knowledge, capacity and resources to transition local governments successfully to this new paradigm.