Lake Macquarie City Council, NSW

Response to Sea Level Rise

Lake Macquarie City Council administers a city of 200,000 people living on a large coastal estuary. Since 2007 the Council has actively researched and taken action to adapt to predicted climate changes, with a priority on the effects of sea level rise and increased flooding.

These actions include:

  • Being one of the first Australia local governments to adopt a sea level rise policy and action plan(August 2008). The policy adopted a predicted rise of 0.91 metres by 2100, and incorporates this prediction in Council’s risk and planning decisions,
  • Developing planning guidelines for foreshore areas affected by predicted sea level rises, placing restrictions in new development areas, and increasing requirements for floor levels and other structural adaptations in existing development areas,
  • Placing a sea level rise notification on land certificates (Section 149 Certificates) for all coastal and foreshore properties below 3 metres AHD (July 2009),
  • Engaging communities vulnerable to sea level rise (Dora Creek, Swansea, Belmont) in a community empowerment process to discuss and develop local climate change adaptation plans (Dora Creek Plan adopted September 2009),
  • Partnering with Sydney University’s Architecture Faculty to develop 2100 vision for adaptable urban design and building designs in communities vulnerable to sea level rise (2009 & 2010),
  • Completing a study to understand the response of estuarine foreshores to sea level rise and developing the eShorance web-tool to assist planners and residents to understand to potential impact of sea level rise on coastal estuaries
  • Studying the effects of sea level rise on coastal and estuarine wetlands and making recommendations for wetland protection and adaptation,
  • Reviewing the Lake flood plan to incorporate increased sea levels and rainfall intensity
  • Studying the effect of increased sea levels on Lake Macquarie entrance channel and lake tides
  • Conducting a first-pass review of coastal hazard zones incorporating predicted sea level rises, with a more comprehensive review in 2011,
  • Integrating sea level rise planning and adaptation measures in planning instruments (DCP and LEP) in 2011. 

Other climate change actions:

  • Adopted an action plan to incorporate predicted increased storm intensity and frequency in Council’s risk assessments and planning instruments,
  • Completed a risk assessment and adaptation plan for Council operations incorporating predicted
    climate changes to 2030 and integrated them with Council’s annual operational and financial planning,
  • Undertook a public awareness campaign on the risk of heat stress, and the best preventive
    measures, with an emphasis on vulnerable sectors of the population,
  • Participated with Hunter Councils (HCCREMS) in developing regional risk assessments and
    adaptation plans,
  • Worked across the City, and with local communities through the Sustainable Neighbourhoods
    program, to identify and plan for climate changes and their effects including increased bushfire risk, increased storm risk, increased flood risk, and increased numbers of hot days,
  • Undertook a study of environmental risks across the City, including the increased risk from climate changes, and prioritised and costed the risks for each decade between 2010 and 2100
  • Participated in the Department of Climate Change Case Study (Hunter – Central Coast) for
    vulnerability of coastal communities to climate changes.

More Information

Use the links below to navigate recent Adaptation Champion profiles. These profiles can be used to have a closer look at past Adaptation Champions, engage with multimedia content, and link to further information about the Adaptation Champions. 

2012 NCCARF Climate Adaptation Champions

Individual Category: Lucinda Corrigan, Rennylea Pastoral Company for ‘Leadership of adaptation to climate change in Australia’s grazing industries’.

Business Category: Metcash Trading Ltd for its ‘Sustainability @ Metcash’ climate adaptation program.

Government Category: Department of Primary Industries, Victoria for its ‘Climate Extension Services‘ program.

Community Category: The ‘Making connections: landholders restoring connectivity in the Wet Tropics’ project.

2011 NCCARF Climate Adaptation Champions

A Queensland farmer, a Tasmanian journalist and a council planner from mid-coast NSW were among NCCARF’s first Climate Adaptation Champions.

Sid Plant - Farmer, Dowling Downs, QLD

Norm Lenehan — Coastal & Flood Management Planner, Eurobodalla Shire Council, NSW 

Peter Boyer — Journalist, blogger and speaker-presenter, Hobart, Tas

Lake Macquarie City Council, NSW

City of Melbourne, Vic

Climate Champion Initiative (A program of Managing Climate Variability and Grains Research Development Corporation)