The Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment (PPBCHA) looks at the likely extent of flooding, changes in groundwater, and the impact of erosion for Port Phillip Bay in the decades to come.
Its findings are set to shake up the Borough of Queenscliffe’s (BoQ) planning scheme, with mapping show low-lying areas of the municipality at high risk from the impacts of climate change including storm tide inundation, erosion and changes in groundwater.
Welcoming the assessment, a Council spokesperson said the PPBCHA was vital to guiding risk management and mitigation measures.
“We have waited five years for this research to be completed and shared. Our priority now is to work through the data and to engage with the Victorian Government on next steps,” the spokesperson said.
“The PPBCHA is a critically important project because it provides land managers and owners with updated data on areas at risk of sea level rise, inundation, and erosion.
“Further work now needs to be done at the local level to understand the implications of the hazard assessment in terms of potential risk and cost.”
Queenscliffe CEO Martin Gill and the BoQ’s Land Use Strategic Planner were among local government officials to receive a special briefing on the report on Tuesday 9 January.
“An important next step will be updating planning schemes to reflect the latest mapping of sea level rise, inundation, and erosion risk,” the spokesperson said.
“It is critical that the State takes the lead on this, with the Minister for Planning using her powers under the Planning and Environment Act to update schemes to reflect the latest data and ensure there is a consistent approach across the state.
“This advocacy is already happening through our membership in the Victorian Marine and Coastal Councils, the Association of Bayside Municipalities, G21 and MAV.”
Environment Minister Steve Dimopolous said the Assessment’s technical reports had been prepared by a range of external providers, including the CSIRO, and had undergone a rigorous independent peer review.
“Victoria’s precious coastline is already being impacted by climate change. Our focus is on managing the risks, adapting to the changes, and supporting communities and industries to be resilient.
“The Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment will be used to help local authorities and Victorians make better informed decision around our changing coastal environment,” the Minister said.