For sandy coastlines, the rule of thumb is about one metre lost for each centimetre of sea level rise.(From a news article about how some WA (West Australian) home owners face financial ruin as the sea level rises.)
I've noticed at my local beach (Inverloch, in Victoria) that there is already serious coastal erosion, with dunes being washed away at their bases and whole beaches simply disappearing. This report is from the other end of Australia. And it's happening there too.
Engineering consultants have warned residents in the coastal Shire of Gingin that governments could force them out when the sea renders their homes unsafe, and could well decide to provide no compensation for homes rendered worthless or taken by the sea.[Read more here]
State policy dictates a controversial process of “managed retreat” for already-developed areas at risk of coastal erosion due to sea level rise. This means public infrastructure is gradually dismantled and moved behind hazard lines, and private properties are surrendered to the sea when utilities or access points are lost.
Hard protections such as groynes and seawalls are considered a last resort.
Coastal councils have been ordered to develop coastal hazard plans according to these policies, and the latest council to get one is the Shire of Gingin.
Engineering firm Cardno’s draft plan depicts the threats Seabird, Lancelin and Ledge Point communities face, and people’s real prospect of being abandoned to deal with financial ruin.
The shire, with just 1300-odd ratepayers across those areas, is unlikely to have the tens of millions required to buy back homes or build and maintain protective structures across all three towns.
And governments are under no legal obligation to buy back land or compensate people if property is lost to the sea
The costs of global warming and climate change aren't in some dim and distant future. They are happening right now. And they will only get worse.
|Erosion at Grace Darling Park, Lancelin, late last winter.|
|Erosion protection (sandbags) on Marmion Beach, West Coast Highway.|
Photo: David Prestipino.
|Lancelin after the last storm season.|