Councillor wants heights raised

IN THE wake of the Queensland floods, Cr Jeff Johnson will today, January 27, renew his call for Ballina Shire Council to increase the floor height for new developments in Ballina island to 90cm.


The predictions for a 90cm sea level rise by 2100 are driving Cr Johnson.


“The recent flooding events in Queensland and eastern Australia highlight the dangers to both life and property in flood-prone areas,” he said.


“Currently Ballina council is approving new developments on Ballina island based on a predicted 20cm sea level rise scenario.


“Continuing to approve new developments on Ballina island using outdated sea level rise estimates exacerbates the cost to our environment, the community and council.”


The risks to Ballina from the predicted sea level rises were highlighted at the NSW Coastal Conference held in town in 2009.


Experts at the conference predicted that Alstonville could become the ‘new Ballina’ if the predicted sea level rises associated with climate change were to occur.


And rusted drains at West Ballina, the experts said, were an indication that sea level rise was happening now.


“The NSW State Government has a policy that predicts a 90cm sea level rise by 2100 and therefore this should form the basis of determining the minimum floor level height for new developments on Ballina island, not the outdated figure of 20cm,” Cr Johnson said.


“Ballina council has acknowledged the increased risk of flooding by increasing the minimum floor level height for greenfield sites but has yet to increase the minimum height for the rest of area, even though the risks of flooding are the same.”
 


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