Reforming Planning Processes Trial: Rockhampton 2050

Adaptation Research Grants Program
Penelope Fry
Rockhampton Regional Council

Abstsract from final report:

This report stems from a larger research project that aimed to determine and demonstrate/trial how existing urban planning principles and practices could accommodate climate change and the uncertainty of climate change impacts for a “seachange” region.  

This report pertains to a component of the research.  The research problem that is the focus of this report is specifically to: “Develop a mechanism and process to enable the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation within local government.”  

An applied research case study was undertaken to address the research problem through a collaboration between researchers and practitioner experts working in local government and related institutions.  The location of the research was the Rockhampton Region and the Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC) served as the host for the research.  The region is exposed to multiple climate hazards including flooding, storm surge, bush fires, wind (including cyclones), and sea level rise.  The case study period spans the period August 2011 to the end of 2012.

Practitioners and stakeholders engaged were found to express confidence in the ability of existing urban planning practices and principles to accommodate and respond to climate change, but indicated that reforms in the governance of spatial modelling (i.e., the centralised generation and provision of data such as climate model information, together with user support for local councils) and a handbook for integration within risk management frameworks were required for mainstreaming.  

A companion Handbook was developed in collaboration with practitioners as part of the research.  

Climate Hazard Risk Management in Local Government: A strong framework and simple process to support technical managers and executives (available at RCC).

This research report provides a copy of the handbook and contrasts it with other tools available to local government to support climate adaptation decision making.

Due to the case study nature of the method, the outcomes are not intended to be generalisable or a ‘one size fits all’.  

Regional map overlays of climate hazard risks (wind, bushfire, storm-tide, coastal erosion and sea-level rise), were developed by Geoscience Australia, and were used as a basis for discussion. This research concludes with reform, capacity and research recommendations for further exploration of the research problem by practitioners and the academic community.

View the final report

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