Letter: Fear and loathing on sea level rise

Coastwatchers seems to have inveigled council’s old guard into an ill-considered clutching onto its interim sea level rise policy (Bay Post, December 12).
Nanjing Night Net

Their argument is that sea level rise needs to be taken seriously and that council needs a sea level rise policy.

As a scientist I agree that sea level rise needs to be taken seriously.

I even agree that council should have a policy, although most other NSW coastal councils don’t yet share this view.

But what we have in the Eurobodalla is the wrong approach.

Coastwatchers and council’s old guard don’t seem to be able to understand that there can be more than one sea level rise policy.

Nor do they seem to grasp that the current one, with its “fear and loathing” approach of simply running away in the face of seal level rise, is the wrong foundation for its policy.

For example, it appears that Councillor Harding has been frightened into clinging to the current policy by the flooding in the CBD during the storm in June.

However, the CBD is effectively excluded from the policy.

As David Lambert pointed out in his letter (Bay Post, December 14), the State Government changed sea level rise legislation because some councils were taking a rather apocalyptic approach to their planning for it.

The government seminar held in Batemans Bay only a few short weeks ago made it abundantly clear that a more measured “risk management” approach was required.

Perhaps the council old guard weren’t listening.

The new guard were. That’s why they moved to repeal the old policy. That’s why they were overwhelmingly elected and the old council thrown out.

But perhaps the old guard, and the new and old mayors in particular, don’t understand that either.

John Rice,Long Beach

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