Adapting infrastructure for climate change

Northern Beaches Council in New South Wales is ensuring local infrastructure – including the area’s many surf life saving clubs – will be resilient in the face of climate change.

The impact of climate change on coastal infrastructure across the Northern Beaches is being addressed in an Australia-first initiative, with Northern Beaches Council receiving a grant of $80,000 from Local Government NSW to ensure that public infrastructure is resilient and adaptable.

Council Administrator Dick Persson AM said the funding will help produce options for making infrastructure last longer, with two pilot projects to be tested.

“Northern Beaches Council is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), which will author a Climate Change Impacts on Assets update to their Useful Life of Infrastructure Assets Practice Note.  

“That Practice Note will be developed in conjunction with Northern Beaches Council so its useability is tested.

“The final Practice Note will feature Northern Beaches Council case studies and form part of national industry guidance.

“It will propose alternative designs in response to sea level rise and increased extreme weather events for things like community facilities, wharves, roads and stormwater outlets to make them last longer and therefore provide greater community and financial benefit.”

It is also important that stormwater infrastructure on the Northern Beaches is resilient to climate change impacts such as increased extreme rainfall events and sea level rise.

The Northern Beaches has 21 surf life saving cubs, the most of any local government area in Australia.

With many of those club buildings ageing, it is important that any renovations or rebuilds are done sustainably so they are resilient to sea level rise and storm events.