City of Mandurah Coastal Zone Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Action Plan


Mandurah has one of the fastest growing populations of any Australian local government. With a significant percentage of the population located in the coastal zone and extensive canal estates the City was identified as one of four local government areas in Western Australia most vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change.

Developing a Local Adaptation Pathways Project (LAPP) ‘first pass assessment’ enabled the City to understand key risks and align these to a prioritised adaptation pathway. The LAPP provided a list of prioritised adaptation options which have formed the basis of the Citys ongoing program for climate change adaptation. The Council has also integrated risk assessment outcomes into business processes and is requesting developers to conduct climate change risk assessments to ensure their development plans have considered future climate change, with a particular focus on sea level rise.

Most importantly, the LAPP provided the impetus for the City to develop a strategy for climate sensitive local planning.

The work to produce guidance for developers undertaking vulnerability and adaptation assessments and support for the local development approvals process within the City is both innovative and proactive and has helped shape the West Australian state coastal planning policy (SPP 2.6).

Risks and Impacts Addressed 

Impacts of sea level rise and storm response to existing coastal infrastructure and future infrastructure design, superimposed on already pressurised coastal, estuarine and channel systems.


Drivers for Adaptation Action 
  • The City has a strong history of awareness and action with respect to Climate Change Adaptation with the initial LAPP project of 2009

  • Significant investment in coastal infrastructure and extensive areas of canal estates and waterways

  • Ecologically significant areas; the coast is the cultural and socio-economic backbone of the community.

Outcomes Achieved 

The LAPP project formed the basis for an ongoing climate change adaptation portfolio for the City. The prioritisation of risks gave an important road map for further investigation and initiatives.

The project provided a backdrop for an ongoing strategy of risk based local planning and has acted as an impetus for development of a climate sensitive town planning process. Findings of the study have also served as an important communication tool internally within the local government and externally with key stakeholders and the community.