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Minister for Climate Change Responds to Report: Managing Our Coastal Zones in a Changing Climate: the Time to Act is Now

Canberra, ACT (News4us.com) November 23, 2010

Minister for Climate Change Responds to Report: Managing Our Coastal Zones in a Changing Climate: the Time to Act is Now

Minister for Climate Change Responds to Report: Managing Our Coastal Zones in a Changing Climate: the Time to Act is Now

A coordinated national approach is needed to prepare Australia’s coastal communities for rising sea levels, storm surges and erosion caused by climate change, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said today.

He was speaking about the Government’s response to the House of Representatives report: Managing Our Coastal Zones in a Changing Climate: the Time to Act is Now. The response was tabled today. Mr Combet said the Government would work with state and territory leaders to develop a national coastal adaptation agenda.

“About 85 per cent of Australia’s population live in the coastal region and it is of immense economic, social and environmental importance to the nation,” Mr Combet said.

“It is crucial that we work together as a nation to plan for the challenges of adapting to the impacts of climate change. Australia’s vast coasts are where many of the changes in climate will be seen, with coastal areas facing rising sea levels, storm surges and erosion. The Government is providing up to $126 million through the Climate Change Adaptation Program to help Australians better understand and manage climate change risks.

“Local and State Governments have a critical role in land-use planning and investment decisions, which make a major contribution to building resilient coastal communities. Adaption, to be effective, will require new approaches and new partnerships with action by all governments and communities,” Mr Combet said.

The Government committed to respond to the HoR report within three months of forming Government, as part of its agreement with Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

The Government has also released the National Climate Change Forum report: Developing a National Coastal Adaptation Agenda. The forum was held in Adelaide in February this year, and brought together some 200 leaders from government, professional associations and the research community to discuss adapting to future climate challenges on the coast.

Key coastal adaptation priorities in the report include:

  • the need for a coordinated national approach to provide greater consistency in planning;
  • clearly defined roles and responsibilities to help reduce investor and planning uncertainty; and
  • early community engagement and clear communication of climate change risks.

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