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Tas Government must act on sea level rise

Tasmanian coastal developments will face inundation from sea level rise, Senator Christine Milne said today whilst calling on the Tasmanian government to note a draft planning policy before the Queensland government.

The Bligh government is considering placing future Queensland coastal developments off-limits if they fall within the 80cm rise in sea levels predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"It's the first time a state has put a figure on how much levels will rise."

"A state government recognising that sea level rise is real, happening right now, and a major threat to the wellbeing of people living and working around our coast is a real breakthrough."

"Tasmanians need leadership from their government, and this is a golden opportunity for David Bartlett to do as the Bligh Government is doing in moving to restrict developments that are destined for failure and abandonment."

"The proposed canal estate in Ralph's Bay obviously comes to mind as a multi-million dollar development fated to inundation, but all around the state we have low lying coastline already experiencing rising levels, storm surge, erosion and, incredibly, a regular stream of planning applications."

"Right now in the North West we have the Mayors of Latrobe and Devonport Councils proposing an industrial estate in one of the state's most vulnerable areas to sea level rise. It really beggars belief, especially as the damaging effects of floods and storms are paid for by local councils. Rate payers beware; the community will foot the bill when the inevitable occurs."

The IPCC predicts sea levels will rise 30cm by 2050 and 80cm by 2100, but recent scientific research indicates the levels will rise higher and faster than originally anticipated.

"This is a chance for the Tasmanian government to act, but also for every one of us to realise that global warming is driving sea level rise. We must demand our governments and big polluters act responsibly."

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