The South Australian Supreme Court has ruled that predicted sea level rises are a valid reason to reject beachfront housing developments, in a portent of how climate change could transform town planning along the nation's coastlines. This was reported in The Australian recently. The rejection of a subdivision on Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide, is likely to be repeated across the country as councils progressively write climate change provisions into their planning regulations. The South Australian Supreme Court cited local sea level rises of 30cm over the next 50 years in ruling yesterday against Northcape Properties' plans for 80 holiday homes at Marion Bay, 150km west of Adelaide. The changes - which the court ruled was expected, not merely a probability - would encroach on the proposal's "erosion buffer and coastal reserve".
The Australian understands the decision is the first of its kind across the nation, with no other court so pointedly referring to climate change and its effects. The story Coastal plan 'not on the sea level' reports.
In Victoria, GIPPSLAND council is facing a multimillion-dollar class action for damage already done to coastal property values as it weighs banning development in areas vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change. Read the story Coastal shire may face class action.