Noosa's coastal properties are at risk from storm surges.
Noosa's coastal properties are at risk from storm surges.

Climate assault: Noosa areas in the firing line

Communities in the firing line of increasingly severe beach erosion, rising sea levels and savage bush fires will help formulate Noosa Council's climate change response plan.

That will please Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart who in council this week asked council's principal strategic planner Rebecca Britton if the property owners in high impact coastal hazard areas will be engaged in council's climate change stakeholder reference groups.

A 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report predicted an east coast sea level rise of .8m.

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It said about 2100 properties in Noosa would be impacted by major storm tide events and 120 dwellings were at risk from severe erosion.

There would also be 52km of Noosa's stormwater drain network exposed to saltwater backflow during the highest tides.

Climate change projections for Noosa if the current greenhouse emissions continue would be that in 30 years there would be a continuous 140 day heatwave.

Climate change threats are being taken seriously in Noosa.
Climate change threats are being taken seriously in Noosa.

The council's climate response plan project outline said there was particular concern for dwellings unlikely to withstand extreme winds.

Cr Stewart said groups such as the Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach surf lifesaving clubs "in high impact zones" should be included in consultation.

Cr Brian Stockwell said property owners in bush fire areas would also be interested.

Ms Britton said council would have engagement with properties affected by coastal erosion and hazards.

She said there would be broader consultation regarding "other climate-related impacts as well" while council environment and sustainable development director Kim Rawlings said "whoever needs or wants to be engaged will be engaged".

"This is shire-wide, community wide, it will impact everyone in some way," Ms Rawlings said.

Cyclones re predicted head further south in the decades ahead.
Cyclones re predicted head further south in the decades ahead.

She said council would engage with as many groups as it could.

Cr Stockwell asked Ms Britton to explain why her report suggested youth aged between 13 and 20 had a low level of interest in the plan, even though they would be highly impacted by climate change.

She replied: "They've made it to the consultation plan and I think that's an important step, that we should make efforts to engage with them, and that's why they're there."

Consultation will be overseen by a project control group including Cr Stewart, Cr Stockwell and Cr Tom Wegener, alongside senior council staff.

Cr Wegener said this was project was democracy at work.

"I find that actually really exciting to be a part of, just watching it all unfold in front of us," he said.

In 2019 Noosa became the first Queensland local government body to formally declare a climate emergency.

In 2016 the council set its goal of operating with zero carbon emissions by 2026.

Stakeholder groups included already are Energex, Unitywater, SEQWater as well as residents' groups, community and business groups including the Hastings Street Association, Noosa Chamber of Commerce, Noosaville Business Association, Noosa Junction Association, Noosa Parks Association, Zero Emissions Noosa, The Nature Conservancy and Tourism Noosa.


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