The South Gippsland Council has adopted planning measures that will require some landowners to acknowledge their properties are at risk of coastal inundation.
The council had put on hold all building applications on land that could be threatened by rising sea levels, after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal blocked a subdivision on the Waratah Bay foreshore.
Any owner of potentially vulnerable land that applies for a planning permit will now have to sign an agreement acknowledging the risk of coastal inundation on their properties.
Mayor Jim Fawcett says it is an interim planning measure, until the state and federal governments provide more details about predicted sea level rises.
“The Planning Department have been able to come up with what I think is a very practical way to resolve these interim issues that people are facing – giving them some certainty,” he said.
“We can now proceed and ask the State Government to really give us more definitive state guidelines and planning strategies to deal with.”
Meanwhile, the East Gippsland Council will ask the Federal Government to provide more guidance on sea level rise issues.
A federal parliamentary committee has made 47 recommendations on planning, infrastructure and liability issues relating to rising sea levels.
The council’s CEO, Steve Kozlowski, says 11 coastal towns in the shire could be threatened by sea level rises, including Raymond Island and Metung.
Mr Kozlowski says the East Gippsland Council will join other coastal councils in asking the Government to adopt the parliamentary committee’s recommendations.
“The council’s not only speaking … as an individual but also as part of that collective body that does have the ear of Government, so the council’s very hopeful that the Government will make a response,” he said.