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Pack your snorkel

17 Jul 2012

Pack your snorkel Image

By Sean Rogasch

The Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change announced last month the arrival of “detailed mapping of Victoria’s coast line” showing sea level rise due to climate change.

Unfortunately the maps show very little detail, and when Southbank Local News inquired about obtaining a higher resolution picture of the maps (so the possible damaged could be properly assessed) we were told these were the highest detailed maps available.

The new data released to the public appears to shows that if nothing is done to combat climate in the next 100 years Southbank will be almost entirely inundated by the rising water of the Yarra River during a one in 100-year storm.

The Minister explained the benefits of the maps being publicly available, saying: “Local authorities and the communities they support are best placed to make decisions about how they manage the risks of rising sea levels along their coasts.”

As you can see from the picture (and it’s the same when you zoom into the map on a computer screen) they would barely be helpful to local councils, and certainly no help for individuals wanting to know about their specific land.

As a suburb sitting on land that, less than 200 years ago, was a swamp, it is vital that Southbank locals and the City of Melbourne have access to more detailed maps before making decisions on what action should be taken to counteract water rising as an effect of climate change.

It is the hope of Southbank Local News that councils will gain access to more detail soon and, in the interest of democracy, the general public should too have access to the detail.

Perhaps the lack of detail is a tactic to calm the alarmist concerns of climate change, but if these maps are to serve the purpose intended, all will need access to the real picture, so the appropriate action can be discussed and undertaken.

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