With over 120km of coastline and a number of offshore islands, the Cassowary Coast region and its residents are vulnerable to changes in coastal hazards and the long-term impacts of climate change. The region has already experienced considerable damage as result of recent extreme events including severe flooding of the Johnstone and Murray Rivers and the impacts of Cyclones Larry (2006) and Yasi (2011). Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) acknowledges that coastal hazards, exacerbated by climate change, will pose risks to its operations, the local community, economy and environment and are developing the Cassowary Coast Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS) to respond to these challenges and improve the resilience of the Cassowary Coast region as a whole.
The CHAS will assess the risk from coastal hazards and the projected effects of climate change over the medium to long term; propose adaptation measures to respond to these impacts; and establish a strategy for the implementation of these adaptation measures. The CHAS has been funded by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and CCRC, and will be developed throughout 2018 and 2019.
The Cassowary Coast Region is exposed to a number of natural hazards, all of which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. The local climate of the Cassowary Coast region is tropical, characterised by a monsoonal wet season (typically December to April) and a dry season (May to November). The regional climate during the wet season is dominated by prevailing north-westerly winds, and inter-annual variability of the monsoon, tropical cyclones and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influences variability of rainfall for the region.
Recent modelling undertaken by BoM and CSIRO shows that climate change is projected to affect the Cassowary Coast region in the form of temperature increases, changes to rainfall, increased storm surge events, the intensity of tropical cyclones as well as a rise in sea levels.
Council recognises it plays a critical role as a coastal community Council and custodians of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as its wider stakeholder obligations towards the pivotal economies of tourism and agriculture.
For Council to develop a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy that best meets the need of all community and stakeholders we need your input and involvement at a number of key points.
As development of the CHAS progresses Council will be seeking a range of community involvement, including:
- Nominate for a position as a community delegate on the Coastal Adaptation Advisory Group
- Share your thoughts on coastal related climate change with Council
- Share your thoughts on coastal related climate change with a Coastal Adaptation Advisory Group representative
- Upload your images from previous weather events and email them to Council
- Provide a public submission on the draft strategy
The final outcomes of the consultation will be documented. This may include a summary of all contributions collected as well as recommendations that fed into the final strategy.
How can I make a submission on the proposed strategy?
The Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy will undergo extensive community consultation before the draft version is made available for feedback via formal submission.
Where can I find more information about climate change and sea level rise?
The science related to climate change and sea level rise constantly changes. As a result the predictions for levels of climate change vary from location to location especially with a country as large and with a diverse range of climates as Australia. Predictions are usually framed in rise of sea level (measured in cm) with relation to the year.
The next steps in the preparation of the Cassowary Coast CHAS include:
- Identifying key assets potentially impacted across the region;
- Completing a risk assessment of key assets in coastal hazard areas;
- Identifying potential adaptation actions including undertaking a socio-economic appraisal of adaptation options; and
- Developing the strategy and local adaptation plans.
How can I stay informed?
In the near future you will be able to sign up to receive updates.
For more information about the project and Council’s vision for climate change adaptation, visit Council’s website, at www.cassowarycoast.qld.gov.au.
Should you have any questions in relation to this matter, please contact Planning Services on Ph: (07) 4030 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Click here to see the latest project update. (1 July, 2018)