Monday, 4 July 2022

CLIMATE CHANGE & NEW SOUTH WALES: filed under 'What could possibly go wrong?"

Global sea levels have already risen by 20cm (between 1901 and 2018) and the Australasia region, which includes New Zealand, has experienced even higher rates than the global average. More coastal flooding is expected as levels rise even further. The latest predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reveal further increases are largely locked in, with a rise of about 15cm to 30cm [0.3m] expected by around 2050. [, 21 September 2021]

Coastal Risk Australia updated inundation mapping for
Lower Clarence Valley at 0.3m rise above mean sea level

Coastal Risk Australia updated inundation mapping for
Lower Clarence Valley at 0.6m above mean sea level

I find it immeasurably sad that the NSW Government and coastal local government councils continue to plan development based on pre-Climate Emergency conditions. 

It's a though every climate change induced disaster and widespread adverse weather event that has occurred in the last 22 years - from the Millennial Drought to stronger East Coast Lows to constant coastal erosion eating away at foreshores to mega-bushfires to devastating record flooding to what appears to be a food shortage cycle developing - are still matters these two tiers of government can only deal with as compartmentalised abstracts when it comes to both short-term and long-term urban planning.

They still see low lying coastal areas with soft shore lines and city, town & village precincts slap in the middle of coastal floodplains already under stress, as capable of development far into the future - when in reality many may well be reduced in area or completely uninhabitable within the next 30 to 100 years. 

Clarence Valley Independent, 29 June 2022:

The state government is calling for public submissions about changes to Clarence Valley Council’s Business and Industrial Zones, which will be called Employment Zones, under new Local Environment Planning laws.

In May 2021, The NSW Department of Environment and Planning DEP proposed that existing Business and Industrial zones be replaced with five Employment zones and three supporting zones under the Standard Instrument Local Environment Plans SILEP Order, 2006.

Since then, DEP planners have been working with Clarence Valley Council planning staff to ensure its Local Environment Plan ‘is amended consistent with the intent of the state government reforms, while also ensuring the land-use planning outcomes are appropriate to the Clarence Valley.’

When the Independent searched what impact the changes would have on a Yamba Street, Yamba address and a Prince Street, Grafton property, we discovered the premises would switch from a Business 2 Local Centre to an Employment 1 Local Centre.

Under the planning changes, home business, home industries and home occupations will be permitted without planning consent, adhering to the Employment zone objective ‘to provide a range of retail, business and community uses that serve the needs of people who live, work or visit the area.’

The new Employment zone also expands land use permissibility in both Grafton and Yamba, with a wider variety of businesses and land uses permitted than under previous laws, including serviced apartments, hotel and motel accommodation, local distribution premises and recreation areas…...

The zones will also address current barriers within the planning system that limit the ability of businesses to establish, expand or adapt.

The new LEP zones are designed to better support councils in the delivery of the strategic vision contained in their Local Strategic Planning Statements and background studies.

The spokesperson said the Employment zones will be in place within individual LEPs by December 1, when the Business and Industrial zones will be repealed.

Stakeholders are invited to make submissions on the changes to the NSW DEP until July 12.

To investigate the changes under the new employment zones in your area visit the NSW DEP Website

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