Climate change call to action

The City will submit a notice of motion to the Australian Local Government Association national general assembly in June to call on the Federal Government to co-ordinate all governments to help plan for the effects of climate change on Australia’s coastal communities.

It will also submit a similar motion to the WA Local Government Association annual general meeting in August, advocating for more commitment and co-ordination from the association, State Government and local governments in addressing climate change.

Last December, the City launched its own climate change response strategy to plan for managing the effects of climate change on the city over the next 60 years.

The landmark documents won praise from Greens WA.

In a report presented to Tuesday’s council meeting, chief executive Andrew Hammond said the City had found from research that ‘sea level rise and extreme storm events’ would have a ‘significant impact’ on Rockingham.

‘While some good work has been done at an isolated local government level in WA, and a state/local government level in NSW and Queensland, there is a very real absence of a truly co-ordinated approach across all tiers of government throughout the nation,’ he said. ‘The issue of climate change and sea level rise is real and a major strategic risk, and should be a significant influence in coastal management throughout Australia.’

Mr Hammond said coastal councils faced significant challenges in dealing with issues such as coastal erosion, climate change risks, and gaining resources to tackle population growth and seasonal tourism peaks. He said a council on coasts and climate change needed to be crated to allow for effective collaboration and determining responsibilities between the three tiers of government.

An Insurance Council of Australia study in 2011 found Rockingham was the third most vulnerable city in Australia, with nearly 30,000 residents within 3km of the coast at risk.