Media Releases · Energy & Climate

Removal of sea level rise projections from coastal maps

19 December, 2014

Changes to Queensland’s Coastal Management Districts (CMD) maps on Friday 19 December 2014 removed Queensland sea level rise projections for 2100. 

Consequently, fewer developments will now trigger an assessment of the impacts of future Sea Level Rise.

EDO Qld believes these changes represent a serious legal risk to councils and other government entities, as well as impacts on coastal communities.

Rana Koroglu, Solicitor at Environmental Defenders Office Qld, says it is ultimately the hardworking people of Queensland who will be paying for the costs of defending such action through taxpayers and rate payers.

“The changes expose governments to litigation by future Queenslanders whose homes will be affected by sea level rise”, she said.

Ms Koroglu said devolving sea level rise planning to local governments could also result in a lack of consistency across Queensland, variations in planning approaches, and conceivably some local governments failing to address sea level rise at all.

“There is an economic imperative to act now, rather ignore the challenges we know will occur”, she said.

“Climate change and sea level rise will happen anyway. This will simply result in Queensland being less prepared when it does occur.”

Ms Koroglu said the changes also conflict with the draft Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and Queensland’s commitments in the Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement.

“Ensuring strong climate change adaptation and resilience, such as planning for sea level rise, is an essential requirement set out in these two main policies concerning Reef protection”, she said.