Media Release: Planned Retreat, Sensible Policy to Deliver for the Whole Community

The Central Coast Greens express sympathy for the distressing and challenging situation of owners affected by the recent storms on the Central Coast. These events highlight the need for effective policies to address the issues raised by more frequent extreme weather events and sea-level rise due to human-induced climate change while compensating affected residents.

The Central Coast Greens have again backed a policy of planned retreat after the continued coastal erosion most recently seen at Wamberal and The North Entrance. This policy addresses the challenges of rising sea levels and coastal erosion and flooding. It would see long term actions that include stopping development in high-risk locations and instituting a
planned retreat from high-risk areas.

“Allowing continued development and residence in high-risk locations is not good for residents or the wider community. It is just not possible to protect every location with sea walls and revetments. These are expensive, potentially ineffective and can be destructive to the environment,” said Central Coast Greens spokesperson, Stephen Pearson.

“Occupation of high-risk locations such as the Wamberal Beachfront doesn’t make practical or financial sense. The community should not be expected to pay for sea walls to protect the interests of a small number of residents so that they can live on a beachfront.”

The Central Coast Greens will continue to press for a comprehensive risk approach to all proposed developments on the Central Coast. We would protect public assets and infrastructure consistent with a policy of planned retreat. A planned retreat is a long-term policy that recognises the realities of climate change. We understand that this will not be easy for communities in high-risk areas, but it is better to have policies that address realities of increasing weather events. A frank, honest and equitable conversation needs to be had between the state government and affected landowners to clarify the status of land titles both currently impacted as well as properties known to be under threat from progressively more extensive inundation. It means taxpayers’ money is better spent and not wasted on short term amelioration that only lasts until the next storm.

With increased flooding seen across the Central Coast including Davistown, Tuggerah Lakes and Woy Woy we must spend our capital infrastructure monies wisely to protect the many and not the few. This policy contrasts with the Liberals who want to spend ever greater amounts of taxpayers’ funds on a small number of residences. We need policies that will deliver for the whole community and offer sustainable outcomes long term.