Chamber warns caution on sea level predictions

The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has called for caution in response to flood mapping from Coastal Risk Australia released by NSW Greens MP Mr Justin Field based on a “plausible” sea level rise of as much as 2.7 metres by 2100.
Mr Wales’ comments were in response to the release of new flood level predictions showing greater impacts from sea level rise on the Peninsula than previously expected.
The Central Coast Council has based its Coastal Zone Management and Flood Plain management planning for the Peninsula on a Sea Level Rise prediction of 0.9 metres by 2100.
The latest revised prediction from the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has declared it plausible that a Sea Level Rise of as much as 2.7 metres by 2100.
Coastal Risk Australia has declared that communities such as those on the Peninsula will be at greater risk of flooding as a result of the revised predictions.
“The Chamber is seriously concerned over the implications of the Coastal Risk Australia mapping and the validity of the sea level rise predictions,” said Peninsula Chamber President, Mr Matthew Wales.
“The mapping, which incorporates the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration revised, reveals a growing number of NSW communities at risk from surging seas under climate change including the Woy Woy commercial centre”.
“We have examined the interactive maps which are available at which show significant impacts on the Woy Woy town centre, Oak Street at Blackwall and along the Booker Bay foreshore”, Mr Wales said.
“The Chamber has expressed a high note of caution over the information shown on the mapping.
“It is important to fully test the validity of the sea level rise mapping and ensure that the data is used carefully.
“Everyone should be careful about data surrounding rising sea levels and other climate change impacts.
“No one is suggesting that these impacts should not be addressed.
“It’s an issue as to how the data is collated and used to safe guard development  in the future.
“The Chamber is calling for a measured approach to climate change and the impact on our commercial centres.
“At the moment, the business community is focused on revitalising town centres, especially Woy Woy so the use of climate change information has substantial impacts on redevelopment through the setting of minimum floor levels and flood-proofing basement carparks.
“It is incumbent on the NSW State Government to ensure that the use of all available data, including the new mapping by Coastal Risk Australia, is used responsibility to ensure sustainable outcomes for future development in coastal risk areas,” he said.

Media release, 24 May 2017
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

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