Strategic Plan to Protect Our Coastal Community

Published on Friday, 21 May 2021 at 3:48:12 PM

The City is seeking community feedback on a Draft Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaption Plan that will help safeguard our coastal community from erosion and coastal inundation for the next 100 years.

The Plan, which is a requirement of the State Government Coastal Planning Policy, responds to an estimated sea level rise of 0.9m over the next 100 years, as well as recognising the naturally mobile and dynamic nature of the City’s coast. It has been developed to ensure the community and decision makers understand and are equipped to manage the potential future risks to private, public and community assets including our coastal wetlands.

The draft plan breaks the City’s coastline into 19 management areas. Within each area potential risks and management and/or adaptation options are identified including broad recommendations to protect, accommodate or retreat from the coastline.

Despite recent and quite misleading media news lines, the City of Busselton Council is not adopting or proposing to adopt a broad retreat strategy at the cost of $9B over the next 100 years. Council is, in fact, mainly advocating a protection approach.

Mayor Grant Henley said: “Future Councils may consider retreating from the coastline in some pockets of largely unused or low value crown land. However, where there are assets we are advocating a protection strategy.  We are a seaside City, we live on the coast and recreate on the coast. Our unique coastal environment drives our tourist economy.

With most development situated on land which is less than 3 metres above sea level, the risk of coastal hazards impacting our life-style and the shape of our developing City, cannot be ignored. Council is taking a proactive stance to protect our coast line and central to this is ensuring we have a sustainable and equitable financial model.”

The estimated cost of the ‘protect’ strategy is approximately $1.6B over 100 years and the cost of a ‘retreat’ strategy is approximately $9B over 100 years. In the main, the draft recommends that a ‘protect’ strategy be pursued.  Most of the costs would not need to be met until after 2040 and in many cases not until after 2070. Importantly, the draft plan doesn’t propose that those costs are all met by ratepayers and recommends that the City continues to work with the State Government and other stakeholders to develop an equitable and sustainable funding model over time.

“The Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaption Plan is unarguably one of the most important strategic plans to come before Council,” Mayor Henley said. “I encourage the community to get familiar with its content and provide feedback.”

The Draft Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) is open for submissions from 21 May 2021 until 23 July 2021. Two public information sessions will be held on

  • Thursday 27 May 2021: City of Busselton Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton 6.00pm - 8.00pm
  • Thursday 3 June 2021: John Edwards Pavilion (Dunsborough Playing Fields), Dunsborough 6.00pm - 8.00pm

In addition staffed information displays will be available to the public on:

  • Thursday 27 May 2021 at the Busselton Central Shopping Centre between 11.00am – 3.00pm.
  • Thursday 3 June 2021 at the Dunsborough Centrepoint Shopping Centre between 12.00pm – 4.00pm. 

A further two online public information sessions will be held via Zoom on: 

  • Tuesday 15 June 2021: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Thursday 24 June 2021: 6.00pm – 8.00pm

To register for these events and to provide feedback on the draft plan, please visit https://yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au/chrmap

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 3 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): Environment that is values, conserved and enjoyed and Key Goal Area 2 Places and Spaces that are vibrant, attractive and affordable.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au

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