28 September 2015: Australia’s coastal councils have called on the Turnbull Government to lead a national collaborative effort to reduce the risk of shark attacks.
Barry Sammels, the Chair of the Australian Coastal Councils Association, said there is an urgent need to identify effective strategies to reduce death and injury from shark attack and to restore tourism activity in Australia’s coastal areas to normal levels.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is planning a new Australian Population Survey with the capacity for continuous updates on regional population statistics. Data collected in the survey will be used to supplement data collected in the Census.
The survey will provide a mechanism for more effectively using Census and administrative data to provide ongoing and dynamic information on regions across Australia – including where people live at different times of the year and their characteristics.
A study conducted by researchers at University College London has found that population growth in coastal areas can lead to major increases in exposure to extreme weather events.
Professor Georgina Mace, who led the study, said governments around the world had failed to grasp the risk that rapidly growing populations in coastal cities face the prospect of rising sea levels and more frequent and severe extreme weather events related to climate change.
An alliance of major business, union, environment, investor and social organisations has been formed with the objective of ‘putting the climate policy debate on common ground and offering a way forward’.
The alliance, called the Australian Climate Roundtable, includes
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 31 March show that in the year ended June 2014 the settlements with the highest growth rates outside the capital cities were along the coast, in particular in Queensland and Western Australia.
Delegates at the Australian Coastal Councils Conference at Cape Schanck adopted a Communiqué calling on the Australian Government “to retain the National Census in its existing form to ensure Australia’s councils have access to detailed demographic data which is essential for the future planning and resourcing of their communities.” The Communiqué was issued in response to a proposal to scrap the Census in its existing form and replace it with a smaller sample survey.
The most comprehensive analysis of Australia’s future climate produced in the past decade warns that the nation could be headed for a rise in average temperature of 1.3°C by 2030 and between 2.8°C and 5.1°C by the year 2090.
The Natural Resource Management report, prepared by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, notes that most of the climate changes observed in recent years are set to continue. The projections supersede those released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology in a 2007 report.
Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has intervened to force the removal of all references to climate change-derived sea level rises from the regional plan of Moreton Bay Regional Council, a decision experts say could have wide ramifications.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has released projections for future changes in temperature, rainfall and other climate variables. The projections have been prepared in conjunction with the ACT Government and the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW.
The fine-scale projections are designed to help local government, business and the community to build resilience in the face of future extreme events and hazards by helping them to understand the impacts of climate change and better manage risk in their local areas.
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