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By 2021 we will be:
A changing climate is likely to result in more frequent and severe extreme weather events,4 as well as changes to our coastline and ecosystems. We will need a shared response across all levels of government, businesses, natural resource management organisations and the community, to manage the associated risks and impacts from a changing climate.
Under a changing climate, Tasmania is expected to experience increased storm events and changes in rainfall patterns, which are likely to result in increased flooding, coastal inundation and erosion. We are also expected to experience longer fire seasons, with more frequent and intense bushfire events.5 Commencing in 2014-15, the Tasmanian Government committed $28.5 million over four years to implement fuel reduction burns to mitigate the risks from bushfire. The 2017-18 Budget continues the commitment.
The Tasmanian Government has also delivered a $250,000 research project on the impacts of climate change on bushfire risk in the TWWHA and appropriate firefighting responses.
There is more we must do to understand and manage the risks from climate change. By managing the risks, we will help minimise economic disruptions and allow communities to get back on their feet faster following extreme weather events. Although we cannot remove the risk entirely, we will be more resilient if we understand our risks and plan appropriately to lessen their impacts.
The actions for this priority area focus on:
What we have done so far:
Undertaken and released Tasmania’s 2016 State Natural Disaster Risk Assessment, with a greater focus on future risks
Invested in a fuel reduction program, which involves the Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Tasmania, local government, private contractors, landowners and industry, conducting strategic fuel reduction burns to reduce bushfire risk
Continued to deliver the Community Protection Planning, Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods and Bushfire-Ready Schools programs to assist communities at risk from bushfire
Sponsored research to identify the future viability of planned burning as a management tool for mitigating bushfire risk in a changing climate
Continued to participate in the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre, which explores the causes, consequences and mitigation of natural disasters
Conducted the TWWHA Bushfire and Climate Change Research Project to investigate the impact of climate change on bushfire risk to Tasmania’s wilderness areas, and appropriate management and firefighting responses
Conducted adaptation pathway planning with communities vulnerable to coastal hazards through the Tasmanian Coastal Adaptation Pathways Project. Most recently, TCCO has worked with communities in the municipalities of Hobart City, Huon Valley, Kingborough and Glamorgan Spring Bay
Progressed land-use planning reforms to manage natural hazards and climate impacts. Instruments under development include a Tasmanian Planning Policy on Hazards and Environmental Risks, and State Planning Provisions for natural hazards
Continued to implement a number of programs to understand and manage the impacts of climate change on Tasmania’s natural environment, including documentation of vulnerable sites, maintaining and building ex-situ populations of vulnerable species, and prioritising conservation measures to improve ecosystem resilience
5.1 Build community resilience to floods
Implement a community project to raise awareness of flood risks
Implement a statewide system for flood warnings and alerts
5.2 Help communities understand their exposure to natural hazards
Develop online resources to provide households with information about their exposure to natural hazards
5.3 Work with local government and regional bodies to embed climate change adaptation into strategic and financial decision making
Assess how local government is currently planning for climate-related risks
Prepare tailored climate change projection summaries for each local government area
5.4 Understand and manage the impacts of coastal hazards to existing settlements
Work with coastal managers to identify risks to coastal settlements and values, and develop management options
DPAC (TCCO, OSEM)
5.5 Examine the impacts of climate change on bushfire risk in the TWWHA and consider appropriate firefighting responses
Consider and respond to the findings and recommendations of the independent report
5.6 Ensure climate change is considered in Tasmanian Government decision making
Work with agencies to embed climate change consideration into strategies and decisions, particularly relating to assets and infrastructure, and key growth sectors
Improve the consideration of climate change in purchasing decisions of Tasmanian Government agencies
Consider how agencies can better use timber products in purchasing to promote carbon storage
5.7 Mitigate risks from bushfire through fuel reduction burning
Deliver a targeted program of burns to reduce fuel in areas that pose the greatest risk to the Tasmanian community
4 White CJ, Grose MR, Corney SP, Bennett JC, Holz GK, Sanabria LA, McInnes KL, Cechet RP, Gaynor SM & Bindoff NL 2010, Climate Futures for Tasmania: Extreme Events Technical Report, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania.
5 Fox–Hughes P, Harris RMB, Lee G, Jabour J, Grose MR, Remenyi TA & Bindoff NL 2015, Climate Futures for Tasmania future fire danger: The Summary and The Technical Report, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania.