Enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate

Adaptation Research Grants Program
Professor Darryn McEvoy
RMIT University

Executive summary from final report

This synthesis report focuses on the resilience of seaports; critical components of the national infrastructure portfolio that are considered vital to the functioning of Australia. However, whilst there is considerable emphasis placed on the strategic importance of ports – and the need for anticipatory planning to ensure a sustainable national ports system in the future – the interpretation of climate information for adaptation planning and its integration into policy and practical decision-making processes remains at an embryonic stage. In response, the project ‘Enhancing the Resilience of Seaports to a Changing Climate’ was commissioned by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) to address this important emergent agenda. 

The analysis, carried out over a 21-month period (2011–12), was undertaken by a multi-disciplinary research team from two universities (RMIT University, supported by the University of Queensland) in close consultation with key stakeholders. Central to the research carried out was an integrated assessment of the climate and non-climate risks that are likely to affect future port operations; information that was then distilled to inform the assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation options for different ‘elements at risk’ within the port environs (infrastructure, functional assets, and workforce). Work package reports are available for these. Three ports along Australia’s eastern seaboard, representative of different port types and climatic regimes, were used as case studies to test and refine the various assessment tools and methodologies. 

View final report