COASTAL councils have been warned they will not be able to save some esplanade areas from rising sea levels caused by climate change.
Local Government Association director of environment Adam Gray has told a Federal Government inquiry into Australia’s preparation for climate change that “retreat” from some foreshore areas is a reality.
“It’s not feasible to protect any longer,” he said.
“We’re also talking about retreat, and so no longer are we going to be able to say to some of our community members that enjoy the views on our esplanades that this land is still going to be here in 50 to 80 years,” he said.
“Protection works are only going to get us so far.”
A draft report sent to South Australian councils states alternatives must be found because it is too expensive and impractical to save all the state’s urban foreshore areas from inundation.
Mr Gray said towns in the northern part of the Gulf St Vincent were already experiencing flooding over seaside levee banks.
He said one council in the gulf region had been told it would be cheaper to lift the level of every house above the expected sea-level rise than it would be to build the levy bank needed to hold back the sea.
Mr Gray said some councils could no longer “protect and defend” their coastlines.