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Bellarine Peninsula Melbourne

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More than 1000 properties along the Bellarine Peninsula and Corio Bay could be subject to future flooding and sea level rise, the City of Greater Geelong has warned.

Residents can now have their say on the council’s Amendment C394 — Proposed Coastal Inundation Overlay. The amendment applies a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay to 1614 properties that will be subject to future flooding and sea level rise.

Avalon, Geelong, Moolap, Newcomb, Leopold, Portarlington, Indented Head, St Leonards, Swan Bay, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove and Breamlea would be covered by the amendment.

The overlay will require a planning permit for new buildings and works on certain properties, with permit conditions usually requiring floor levels to be above the predicted flood levels.

Sustainable Development Portfolio chair Cr Jim Mason said the overlay would not necessarily stop development or changes to properties.

“It will trigger a planning permit and ensure that any future development or redevelopment recognises the location may be subject to future coastal flooding and sea level rise impacts,” he said. “This overlay implements the State Government policy of planning for a 0.8m sea level rise by 2100.”

A Victorian Environment Assessment Council (VEAC) report revealed parts of the Bellarine Peninsula could be inundated by water in the next 20 years, with scientists predicting a 20cm sea-level rise.

The report states Queenscliff and Barwon Heads are among coastal areas “most vulnerable” to inundation by 2040. The VEAC predicts the sea level will rise by between 40cm and a metre by 2100, while sea surface temperatures will increase between 1.9C and 3.8C by 2090.

The amendment overlay maps are based on the Bellarine Peninsula — Corio Bay Local Coastal Hazard Assessment — Inundation Report 2015 which was prepared as part of the Our Coast project. Our Coast mapped areas around the Bellarine Peninsula and Corio Bay, from Breamlea to Point Wilson, that will be impacted by sea level rise.

Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood said council “has a duty of care to act on the scientific modelling that forms the basis of this amendment, with a focus on lowering the risk of potential injury to residents, and damage to property and agriculture”.

“We need to hear the community’s thoughts on the amendment and I encourage residents who may be affected to have their say.” Submissions close on August 12.

Source: Geelong Advertiser