Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change, by identifying climate change adaptation as a key focus for the region. With over 500km of coastline, the Whitsunday region and its residents are vulnerable to the long-term impacts of climate change.
Part of Council’s proactive strategy is the development of a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS). The strategy aims to identify and respond to coastal hazards in order to provide a detailed assessment of current coastal hazards, as well as those predicted under future climate change scenarios. The CHAS has been funded by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and Whitsunday Regional Council, and will be developed throughout 2017 and 2018.
The Whitsunday Region is exposed to a number of natural hazards, all of which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Recent modelling undertaken by BoM and CSIRO shows that climate change is projected to affect the Whitsunday Region in the form of temperature increases, changes to rainfall, increased storm surge events, the intensity of tropical cyclones as well as a rise in sea levels.
Council recognises it plays a critical role as a coastal community Council and custodians of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as its wider stakeholder obligations towards the pivotal economies of tourism, agriculture, and mining.