Storm Smart Strategy

Climate change is a real threat to coastal communities like Mackay.  That’s why it is “smart” to start planning now for coastal and inland flooding hazards likely to be exacerbated by climate change.

The Queensland Climate Change Strategy predicts cyclone intensity is expected to increase by 2050, with cyclone-associated rainfall tipped to increase by up to 20 to 30 per cent.  Projected increases in temperature also equate to a 10 per cent increase in general rainfall intensity by 2050, 15 per cent by 2070 and 20 per cent by 2100.  A 0.3m rise in sea level by 2050, a 0.5m rise by 2070 and a 0.8m rise by 2100 is also predicted.

Council is working on a Storm Smart Strategy to ensure the community is prepared and able to adapt.  This strategy is focused primarily on risks associated with sea level rise, increased cyclone intensity, higher intensity rainfall and the resulting increase in inundation and erosion potential. It will help reduce the risk to people and property and enhance the community’s resilience to natural hazards.  Governments have indicated there will be reduced funding for recovery in the future, with a focus on spending to improve resilience.

The strategy is for parts of our local government area identified as potentially impacted by coastal risks or inland flooding. Generally, these can by identified by looking at the Mackay Region Planning Scheme’s flood and coastal hazards overlays, but can include up to 40 per cent of properties.

Council has accessed more than $200,000 in State Government QCoast2100 funding to start the strategy. The strategy is currently in the risk assessment phase and a draft of the strategy will be released in 2020/2021.