20 September, 2012: A recent UWA study looked at the possibility of flooding along the Swan River under current conditions and possible future sea level rise scenarios of 0.5m, 1m and 1.5m. It has been estimated that with a 1.1m rise in sea level, 18 700 to 28 900 residential buildings in WA will be at risk to flooding. This equates to 4.9 - 7.7 billion dollars worth of damage. The Swan River region is frequently affected by large extra-tropical storms with low atmospheric pressures and high wind speeds – combined with shallow coastal waters, the influence on the sea level is intensified. This was evident with the events during May 2003 when there was severe flooding in a range of areas around Perth, including sections of Riverside Drive and the Kwinana Freeway, and again in May 2011, when the southernmost lane of Riverside drive was flooded and closed off. .
Please click on the document below to read the study:
Background and history
EMRC and its member councils have collaborated regionally to undertake a comprehensive climate change risk assessment to identify impacts and associated actions that will need to be undertaken to better prepare the region's community to adapt to the pressures climate change will bring. The Regional Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2009-2013 is a foundation document that outlines what needs to be done at the regional level to adapt to climate change over the next four years.
EMRC received funding from the Department of Climate Change's Local Adaptation Pathways Program to assist member councils in undertaking climate change risk assessments, management and adaptation planning. Future Proofing Perth's Eastern Region is a framework that has been developed to compliment regional actions to reduce emissions by identifying the major risks of climate change relevant to the region and to assist in the development of a regional adaptation plan to address the risks.
A regional forum was held on 5 February 2009 which brought together key stakeholders and decision makers in the region. Summaries of the 5 February 2009 regional forum presentations can be downloaded below:
This was followed by ongoing consultation and information gathering which included a series of staff workshops with member council staff during 2009 to ensure effective and relevant inputs into the risk assessment and asset identification process. The outcomes of these workshops resulted in the development of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (RCCAAP) and a Local Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (LCCAAP) for each member council.
While the regional plan identifies actions which benefit from a regional approach, the LCCAAP focuses on actions related to individual council operations and services to ensure that climate change adaptation is integrated into the day to day planning and risk management activities of the council and its communities.
As part of the RCCAAP implementation, a Climate Change Forum was conducted at EMRC's office on Thursday, 14 April 2011. This forum was designed for local government elected members and key staff including Chief Executive Officers, Directors, planners, engineers, environmental and community development officers to inform them about:
• Legal implications to local government associated with exposure to climate change impacts and insurance cost increases
• State and federal government requirements for the local government sector in the area of climate change adaptation (e.g. factoring climate change adaptation into decision making and emergency management)
• Increasing pressure on local government building and planning services to adequately respond to climate change risks and adapt (e.g. pressure on planners and engineers to factor climate change into planning approvals and building designs).
The forum included presentations by a number of high profile speakers from state government and non-government agencies, a discussion panel session and networking.
In April 2011 the Future Proofing Perth’s Eastern Region – Adapting to Climate Change Project was recognised as a leading project in climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Local Government Sector and granted NCCARF Climate Change Champions Finalist Award.
15 May 2012: Representatives of EMRC and its member councils attended the Local Government Climate Change Declaration official signing ceremony in the City of Stirling. More information about the declaration can be found on the WALGA climate change website.