Perth waterfront plans fail to consider climate change impacts

Media Release 17th February 2011

Lynn MacLaren Greens MLC has challenged the State Government to prove that Perth’s City Waterfront is designed for the predicted impacts of climate change.

“This Government seems to have its head in the sand when it comes to acknowledging the very real impacts that climate change is predicted to have on Western Australia,” said Ms MacLaren, Greens WA spokesperson for Planning.

"The Minister claims this Waterfront development has allowed for the 0.9 metre sea level rise and storm surges. But he has indicated that the public promenade may be subject to flooding in extreme storm events.

“The waterfront development is a great opportunity to showcase a modern city, with sustainable designs incorporating what we now know about the challenges that climate change will bring. On a project of this scale, our finest developers will have to demonstrate a high degree of innovation.

“Yet, in question time today the Minister revealed that structures would only be required to meet minimum green star ratings. When we know that Perth can construct world class sustainable buildings, the Minister is setting the bar far too low,” Ms MacLaren added.

The WA Department of Environment and Conservation has warned that, as a result of climate change, storm events could become much more severe. This will apply considerable stress to infrastructure in the form of structural damage (from increased wind speed and rain and hail intensity) and damage from flash flooding.

“It is vital that the State Government factors in the predicted impacts of climate change in its planning decisions to avoid expensive damage to infrastructure. Continuing with business as usual is not an option,” added Ms MacLaren.

Media contacts

Lynn MacLaren MLC:                          0403 721 951

Louise Sales, Research officer:            0435 589 579