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With over 500km of coastline to manage, the Whitsunday Regional Council is taking a proactive approach to climate change by delivering the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy over the next twelve months.
The Strategy aims to prepare residents who live along our coastlines for the long-term impacts of climate change, such as sea-levels rising, more storm surge events and the increased intensity of tropical cyclones.
As the first step in the project, Council has engaged a historian from the Australian Heritage Specialists to review and collate information on all notable weather events from the past in the Whitsunday region, with the help of local historical societies in Bowen and Proserpine.
The community is also encouraged to participate, and share their stories and memories of past weather events either online or during public information sessions, to be held in July 2017.
By gathering information from as many sources as possible Council will receive a clearer picture of the long-term impacts, said Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox.
“The historian will work alongside our local historical societies to review all of our records and identify patterns for rainfall, temperature and wind speeds,” he said.
“This information will be invaluable in identifying which areas are at risk from coastal hazards, so we can develop options for responding to these challenges.”
“In the meantime I encourage all of our coastal community members to visit the Your Say Whitsunday website, where you can share online your stories, memories, photos and other records from severe weather events you may have experienced over the years,” Mayor Willcox said.
The public information sessions will be held in July, and will include presenting historical photographs and climate pattern data, along with information from the project’s initial findings.
Dates and times for the public information sessions will be made available closer to the time on the website, social media and advertised in the local papers.
A key area of focus for Council will be identifying climate change adaptation strategies, to both reduce the harmful effects of climate change as well as making the most of any opportunities which may result from these changes.
It is envisaged that all historical information and personal stories about weather events in the region will be form part of Council’s historical records.
More information about the project can be found at http://yoursay.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au/ or call Council directly on (07) 4945 0200 for further details.
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