Coastal properties feel climate change price signal

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Coastal properties feel climate change price signal

Posted 25/08/2010 by Anita Talberg

Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
The NSW Valuer-General has announced a significant cut in the valuation of beachfront properties at Belongil Beach on the Northern NSW coast. Although this will only affect the the calculation of rates and levy land tax, it sends a signal to those living in these areas and their insurers. This assessment by the Valuer-General comes after the release of the NSW coastal planning guidelines, which states that

'Where possible, new urban developments and coastal subdivisions should be located outside coastal risk areas'
and
'Where zones are identified as being subject to coastal risks it may be appropriate to include an additional objective for that zone requiring the accommodation of the projected impacts of sea level rise.'
The statements are in line with the conclusions of a Parliamentary Inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts, Managing our coastal zone in a changing climate, which reported in October 2009:
The Committee notes the serious implications of ...more frequent flooding projections for coastal planning and the need for urgent action to amend coastal planning and development policies.
The NSW coastal planning guidelines accepts a likely sea level rise of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by 2100 over the 1990 level. It also states that benchmarks will need to be updated with any new findings reported in the next assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

While none of this binds NSW local councils, it provides them with the arguments needed to reduce the number of developments in high-risk areas and equips insurers with rationales for increasing risk management costs. These higher costs reflect the need to build better protected homes that are inherently more expensive.
(Image sourced from: http://www.commons.wikimedia.org/)

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