Client: Department of the Environment (Cth)
BMT in association with Buckley Vann town planners and the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland (UQ), undertook a climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning study for the remote centre of Choiseul Bay, at the northern tip of the Solomon Islands. The project was funded by Australian Aid through the PACCSAP program.
This study involved oceanographic and coastal modelling to determine risks associated with tsunami and other natural hazards. Being located on the edge of the Pacific ‘ring of fire’, tsunamis resulting from local earthquakes are the biggest risk to coastal communities around Choiseul Bay.
Outcomes and Benefits
Most development, services and infrastructure on Taro Island in Choiseul Bay was determined by the study to be vulnerable to tsunami hazards under present day conditions. The study identified risk reduction measures through extensive community and stakeholder consultation.
While there are a number of actions that can be taken in the short term to increase resilience of the existing development to tsunami risk, the long term strategy for managing climate change is relocation of the capital to a new site on the adjacent mainland Island. Land has already been reserved for this purpose. The study provided guidance on implementation of the relocation along with details of necessary planning provisions and a local planning scheme to support future development.
Services and Expertise Provided:
Seqwater is the Queensland Government Bulk Water Supply Authority and manages over $11 billion of water supply infrastructure - including dams and weirs, conventional water treatment plants, a desalination plant, the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, as well reservoirs, pump stations and more than 600 kilometres of bi-directional pipeline network. As part of Seqwater's climate change risk management, this project undertaken by BMT assessed climate change vulnerability of Seqwater's built assets.
During 2009, BMT was engaged by the Gold Coast City Council to undertake a consultancy to provide technical assistance to identify the key risks from climate change across the local government area and to test the readiness of the City to sustain or adapt to the impacts of key climate change parameters such as sea level rise, increased flooding and increased storms and hazard events.
In partnership with the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), BMT is helping to prepare new national guidelines regarding climate resilient materials. The new guidelines, known as Practice Note 12.2: Climate resilient materials for infrastructure assets (PN 12.2) will be released by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to supplement the existing Practice Note 12.1: Climate Change Impacts on the Useful Life of Infrastructure (PN 12.1), previously prepared by Northern Beaches Council and IPWEA.
The Queensland Government Department of Environment and Natural Resources contracted Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants and BMT in 2010 to assist the Department with the development of a proposed planning and assessment code and associated guidelines to support the State Planning Policy for Coastal Management currently in development.