National Sea Change Taskforce
  • Saturday 27 August 2011

Sunshine Coast Council is providing national leadership on the impact of sea change with the re-election of Councillor Debbie Blumel to the National Sea Change Taskforce.

Councillor Blumel said she was honoured to be re-elected as a Queensland representative on the National Sea Change Taskforce Committee of Management.

"The National Sea Change Taskforce is a local government group that represents coastal councils around Australia," Cr Blumel said.

"The role of the National Sea Change Taskforce is to provide national leadership in addressing the impact of the ‘sea change’ phenomenon and to provide support and guidance to coastal councils attempting to manage the impact of rapid growth.

"It was advocacy by the Taskforce that led to the establishment of the Parliamentary Coastal Inquiry that prompted Australian Government recognition that coastal management is an issue of national importance.

"The Taskforce is developing a methodology for gathering data on tourists and other non-residents in coastal areas. This data is critical, because of the impact of visitors in coastal areas, which is not factored into the resource allocation formula for councils administered by the Grants Commissions.

"The Taskforce has also secured a commitment from CSIRO to develop a coastal research web portal. The initiative will allow coastal councils and other stakeholders to access coastal research findings easily at a national level and to then focus on regional and local research projects.

"A review has commenced of the Taskforce coastal policy platform that will assess the 10-Point Plan for Coastal Australia thatformed a strong basis for our advocacy campaign over recent months.

"The Taskforce has commissioned a fourth stage of research through the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. The research project is titled Planning for climate change adaptation in coastal Australia: State of practice.

"The National Sea Change Taskforce was one of the first organisations to draw attention to the urgent need to plan for the projected impact of climate change in coastal areas and has been at the forefront of policy development and advocacy in relation to this issue. The new research project is designed to assist coastal councils in the process of planning for climate change adaptation and will include examples of best practice models of climate change adaptation from around the world.

"The findings from Taskforce research projects informs government policy at State and Federal level, and is used as a prime reference source by coastal councils, particularly as they prepare for the impact of climate change.

"The Taskforce promotes the adoption of a coordinated national approach to manage sea change growth with a commitment by all three levels of government to work collaboratively to ensure that coastal development is managed with a focus on sustainability of coastal communities and the coastal environment.

"The Taskforce has made considerable progress since it was established in 2004 by placing the issues facing coastal communities on the national political agenda at the most senior levels of the Federal Ministry and Opposition."

There are two representatives from every Australian state on the Taskforce and the Mayor of the City of Rockingham, in Western Australia, Barry Sammels, has been re-elected chair of the Taskforce.

The elections took place following the Annual General Meeting of the organisation held in Canberra on Tuesday 23 August.