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Queensland Acts on Climate Change Risks

Queensland Acts on Climate Change Risks

South East Queensland is at high of inundation from Climate Change

Brisbane, 8.12.2008: The Queensland Government has responded to warnings from climate change scientists and planners by embedding climate change as its number one issue in the draft Regional Plan for South East Queensland. This will lead to major changes in the locations and standards of new development from the Gold Coast to Noosa.


"We have been arguing for some time that South East Queensland could be a tinderbox of future litigation if people keep building and buying homes which are highly vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surge and the kind of extreme weather we saw rip though Brisbane last week." Said Dr Karl Mallon, Director of Government and Corporate Analysis as Climate Risk P/L.

 "The Queensland Government has set out a clear plan to intervene decisively, to halt high risk development and start the process of building a State able to cope with some of the inevitable consequences of climate change." South East Queensland has been highlighted by international scientists as a climate risk hot spot.

Last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated, "Ongoing coastal development and population growth in areas such as. . . South East Queensland . . . are projected to exacerbate risks from sea-level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding by 2050."

Work by Climate Risk’s scientists and planners with the global insurance company Zurich and over fifteen local governments has highlighted a major schism between state governments, local governments and their insurance companies over climate change.

Currently councils across Australia have been unable to prevent developments at high risk from climate change impacts because planning laws have failed to keep abreast of climate change science. The new regional plan opens the way for a statutory response to climate change.

"This is a new paradigm, not just for Queensland, but for the whole of Australia. Climate change risks will no longer be an optional extra. From homes to highways, sub-divisions to city skyscrapers, climate change impacts and adaptation will have to be seriously considered for new developments to proceed." The new regional plan will affect development of residential properties, commercial development, retail properties, infrastructure, land banking, superannuation funds and tourism development.

For interviews contact: Dr Karl Mallon, Director Corporate Risk: 0412-257-521 Donovan Burton, Head of Climate Planning: 0435-041-285 Draft SEQ Regional Plan at:

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