Mayoral candidate Cr Debbie Blumel today released her policy to protect people and property in the face of more frequent and severe weather events and rising sea levels and to promote responsible land use planning for future development on the Sunshine Coast.
Cr Blumel said that Safeguarding our Coast for the Future addresses a number of significant issues including ensuring private property rights are protected and balanced with the public interest – both environmental and financial.
“It also seeks to protect vulnerable industries like tourism, fishing and agriculture, assist in resolving complex insurance and legal issues, and better plan for and manage risks to Government infrastructure. It also addresses the management of river and beach foreshores by Council and the community,” said Cr Blumel.
“This policy is about protecting those who live in the pathway of emerging risks and promoting better land use planning for our children and grandchildren.”
Cr Blumel is asking voters to send a resounding mandate to incoming councillors to be regional leaders when it comes to climate change adaptation.
“This policy commits the next Council to working in partnership with the community so we can face the challenges of climate change together. The key to successful adaptation is engaging with the people who live here – the people who have homes, farms and businesses here.
“We must develop a common understanding of the challenges of living in the coastal and hinterland zones and commit to practical, common sense planning. We need to act decisively to safeguard our coast for the future, including agreeing on strategies, timeframes, costs and who pays.
“This isn’t just about the coastal floodplains. The hinterland and range communities also face climate change hazards including flooding, landslip, erosion and bushfires.”
Cr Blumel has represented Queensland coastal councils on the National Sea Change Taskforce during the current Local Government term. In this role, she has been a powerful advocate in calling for national and state leadership on insurance and legal liability issues around climate change as well as a national growth management plan.
Cr Blumel believes that Council is the level of government best able to engage with the community about adapting to climate change through better land use because Council is at the coalface where planning schemes are made and development applications are decided.