State chipped on climate

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

In its draft submission to a review of the State Planning Strategy, tabled at Tuesday’s council meeting, it said it was a commonly held view that the Government’s approach to climate change had been ‘inadequate’.

‘It has been left to local authorities to understand and prepare for the impacts; a task which is often beyond the resources of individual councils,’ the officer’s report said.

The City is one of a handful of WA local governments to develop a Climate Change Response Strategy, passed by council late last year, that outlines potential affects of sea level rises, increased storm intensities and heatwaves on the City’s infrastructure and properties over 60 years.

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 from climate change.

The report said the Government needed to provide leadership on the issue.’Given the regional nature of the issue, the clear preference is that it be addressed in a consistent and co-ordinated manner,’ it said.

‘A clear mandate to assist those areas of high vulnerability should also be a stated State Government position.’

In December, a spokesman for Planning Minister John Day said under the State coastal planning policy, coastal urban planning required a ‘proactive approach to coastal management’.

These included policies for coastal developments at risk of rising sea levels, he said.

The draft submission also suggested more affordable housing was needed that could be created with more streamlined planning processes.