Council and climate change

How Council is planning for climate change

The 2009 NSW Government Sea Level Rise Policy required that Council consider, as a minimum, 40cm sea level rise by 2050 and 90cm rise by 2100. This policy was repealed by the NSW Government in 2012 and coastal councils were encouraged to adopt their own sea level rise projections.

In response Council, in partnership with Eurobodalla Council, engaged expert consultants to develop a South Coast Regional Sea Level Rise Policy and Planning Framework. This document was not adopted by Council. However part of it, together with submissions from the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) and a local civil engineer, were used by Councillors to adopt the following sea level rise projections on 10 February 2015,

100mm for 2030

230mm for 2050 and

360mm for 2100.

Referring to table 10 on page 55 of the South Coast Regional Sea Level Rise Policy and Planning Framework, these numbers correspond to the sea level rise projections associated with RCP6.0 (mid-range greenhouse gas emissions scenario). The adopted 2030 and 2050 projections have a 15% chance (high probability line) of being exceeded while the 2100 projection of 360mm has a 85% chance of being exceeded (low probability line).

A simplified, visual summary and explanation of the sea level rise projections can be viewed here.

Coastal Hazard Maps 2016 – beaches

On 27 June 2017 Council adopted the Shoalhaven Coastal Hazard Mapping Review Final Report 2016 which updates the SMEC report and maps which are listed below. The update was required due to Council’s adoption of new sea level rise projections which are explained in more detail here.

Shoalhaven now has 10 key risk beaches and the hazard mapping for each is shown below.

Coastal Hazard Maps 2009 – beaches

The previous coastal hazard assessment, SMEC Coastal Hazard Study 2009 (File size: 2 MB), was based on the NSW Government sea level rise projections of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by 2100.

Coastal Hazard report and maps - cliffs & slopes

Council has also updated the risk management documents associated with the ten high risk cliff and slope areas at

  • Penguin Head & Culburra Beach
  • Plantation Point, Vincentia
  • Hyams Point, Hyams Beach
  • Berrara Point, Berrara
  • Inyadda Point, Manyana
  • Collers Beach headland, Mollymook
  • Rennies Beach, Ulladulla and
  • Racecourse Beach, Ulladulla

The Shoalhaven Coastal Cliffs and Slopes Risk Management Recommendations Report and Emergency Action Sub Plan (2018) provide updated geotechnical assessments for Shoalhaven’s 10 risk areas, makes recommendations for monitoring and managing risk and serve as the basis for emergency action planning.

The Coastal Factsheet - Cliffs and Slopes, summarises the information provided in the Risk Management Report.

Mapping for each of the high risk cliff and slope areas can be found in the Coastal Zone Management Plan 2018.

Coastal risk development controls

Properties affected by coastal instability in the Shoalhaven are currently managed through provisions outlined in the Shoalhaven Development Control Plan 2014 – Chapter G6, Areas of Coastal Management.

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