HUNDREDS of houses in beachside suburbs are at risk of inundation in the next 20 years, a new report has revealed.
The study, titled the Economic Impacts from Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge in Victoria, Australia over the 21st century, was commissioned by the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council and Life Saving Victoria, and undertaken by the University of Melbourne. It estimates that by 2100, sea level rise and storm surge in Victoria will cause $442 billion in damage to the economy.
The report ranked 40 suburbs by the number of properties which are at high risk of inundation by 2040. Carrum ranked 8th with 556 properties, Edithvale 12th with 376, Bonbeach 18th with 257, Seaford 21st with 229, and Patterson Lakes 22nd with 196. Chelsea, Aspendale, and Chelsea Heights also featured in the top 40.
By 2070 Patterson Lakes, Seaford, and Chelsea will be the local suburbs at greatest risk of inundation, the report found.
Victorian Marine and Coastal Council chair Dr Anthony Boxshall said that action needs to be taken to prevent huge losses on Victoria’s coasts. “We know that climate change is going to hurt many Victorian communities if we do not act,” he said. “This rigorous report clearly and comprehensively documents the economic challenges that Victoria’s coastal communities will face from sea level rise and related storm surges. Spending on adaptation over the next two decades could help reduce future risk and save significantly on the estimates of future costs.”
When submitting its plan for future housing developments to the planning minister, Kingston Council included the report in its material (“Housing height limits sent to planning minister” The News 16/8/23).
Professor Tom Kompas from the University of Melbourne wrote in the report that “the economic damages from sea level rise / storm surge to coastal areas are more than enough to trigger considerable financial instability for many coastal communities and the state of Victoria itself, not to mention the potential loss of life, and damages to food, water supply and environmental assets from sea level rise and storm surge, many aspects of which are not accounted for in our calculations.”
To read the report visit marineandcoastalcouncil.vic.gov.au/resources/vmacc-reports