Study to consider impacts of climate change coastal hazards on Derwent River foreshore

By Alison Johnson, Climate Resilience Officer, Brighton Council

Damage to a track.

Brighton Council recently endorsed the Brighton Council Derwent River Foreshore Coastal Hazards Project. The project aims to provide high quality information on coastal erosion and inundation risks along the foreshore area, as well as outline pathways to prepare for current and future climate

As a successful recipient of $55,000 from the Australian Government, Preparing Australian Local Communities Program, Brighton Council will match support for the project to provide information that assists the community and the range of stakeholders who own or manage land in the area to manage
the risks of climate change.

“It is important to be on the front foot with any future threat. Climate change presents a range of challenges, including coastal erosion and inundation from sea level rise and flooding events,” Mayor Leigh Gray said. “By providing up to date and localised information we can outline appropriate action by private landowners, local government, State Government, and infrastructure providers. Many asset owners all along the foreshore area, and particularly in the Old Beach and Sunrise Avenue areas, are already experiencing flooding events in their backyards. We cannot bury our heads in the sand.”

Local climate change impact modelling suggests inundation along the coastal frontage will continue to increase due to sea level rise and the current 100- year coastal inundation events may become five-year events by 2090, if the world continues to follow the business-as-usual high emissions scenario. Brighton Municipality climate change impacts information is available down to a 10 km2 radius via the Climate Change Information for Decision Making report, available on the Brighton Council website. Councillor Peter Geard, as the local State Emergency Service representative said, “Support for the project is out of concern for the health and wellbeing of the community. We mainly get to see the worst-case scenarios of our community losing high value items in tragic circumstances. Anything we can do to reduce the scale and severity of disaster impacts with our local community is a positive step forward.”

The Project is due to run from late 2022 through to the end of 2023 and will provide several reports on coastal hazards maps, climate change risks, community values and mitigation options.

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