In 2011-2012 four Port Phillip Bay councils participated in the Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways Project – an applied research project looking at the role of economic modelling informing decision making in response to coastal flooding. Funded by the Australian Government Coastal Adaptation.
Decision Pathways Initiative
The Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM), Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and Central Coastal Board (CCB) secured funding from the Australian Government (Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways initiative) to develop leading practice approaches to better manage future climate change risk to coastal assets and communities. Additional funding has been provided by DPCD as well as in-kind support from councils and partners.
The Partners include Melbourne Water, Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and ABM member councils with project management undertaken by the ABM executive officer, Bernie Cotter.
The combined effects of sea level rise and increased rainfall as a result of climate change will exacerbate flood risk in many coastal areas, exposing areas to more frequent and severe inundation. A growing number of people and properties will be exposed to flooding during this century, resulting in damage to or loss of property and natural assets as well as economic and social disruption unless proactive adaptation is considered. Identifying cost effective adaptation options, and deciding when to apply those options, presents significant new challenges for both government and the community.
Governments will be challenged to demonstrate clear and transparent decision making in responding to changing inundation risks in the face of the diverse range of expectations from the community as well competing pressures for limited financial resources. An adaptation pathways approach can provide a flexible course of action taken over time in response to potential or actual inundation in the short and long term. The Port Phillip Bay Coastal Adaptation Pathways Project has taken an applied research approach to develop a framework to identify adaptation pathways to support coastal adaptation planning in urbanised areas in response to changing inundation risks as a result of climate change. The framework was applied at five sites around Port Phillip Bay in conjunction with local government authorities to test its practical application.