The State Government is severely unprepared for the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme high tide events expected to inundate the NSW coast as a result of climate change, according to the state’s peak environment group.
“Scientists are telling us that by the end of this century the world will experience a rise in sea levels of between eight and 90cm due to climate change. These estimates do not take into consideration melting ice sheets, which some scientists say is becoming more and more likely to occur,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
“Reports suggest extreme high tides that currently occur about once every 10 years will hit the NSW coast up to 50 times a year by 2050.
“Most Australians live within 50km of our coastlines, therefore we need a robust statewide strategy to protect our precious coastal environments and infrastructure from rising sea levels and increased extreme weather events.
“Not only do governments need to plan for rising sea levels, but also for the predicted increases in the impacts of king tides and storm surges. Imagine what a king tide will look like 2050.
“The Nature Conservation Council is calling on the State Government to refuse development applications in areas vulnerable to flooding from rising sea levels in the next 100 years. We must avoid new developments in flood-prone coastal areas and implement adaptive strategies for protecting communities from coastal impacts,” Ms Faehrmann said.