Barbara Norman writes in The Conversation (6.5.16) about members of Australian coastal communities attempting to highlight to federal MPs the risks they face from climate change and rising sea levels. With an election approaching, she explains how these groups are targeting their message at federal members in some of the nation’s most marginal seats.
‘Representatives of Australian coastal communities have gathered this week to discuss the major challenges they face. Delegates at the conference in Rockingham, Western Australia, represent 40 councils around Australia, some falling within the 24 federal electorates held by a margin of 5% or less. In contrast to the federal budget, climate change is at the top of their agenda.
‘… We may have got this far without an integrated approach to coastal planning and management, but without it there is no way we will be able to manage coastal growth with the projected demographic, economic and climate changes.
‘That’s why local councils are demanding immediate action on a national coastal policy to meet the needs of our coastal communities and environment. To ignore their call is a very significant political risk indeed.’