REVEALED: Climate change impact on Gladstone
A RECENT report detailing the impact of climate change across built environments in Australia has assessed more than 544 local government areas - with Gladstone ranking in the 21st spot for the most at-risk LGAs in Queensland for 2020.
The Climate Change Risk to Australia's Built Environment report - which aims to inform governments, business and the public looked at more than 15 million addresses - predicts the region will be ranked again at 21 in 2100.
The report defines a high-risk property as one which has an insurance premium as a percentage of the replacement cost of the property worth more than one per cent, and it details the impacts of climate change across communities in Australia for Coastal Inundation, Riverine Flooding, Forest Fire, Wind Damage and Subsidence.
Released by Cross Dependency Initiative, the findings take into account the number and value of properties at risk, as well as the annual cost of potential damage assuming all hazards are insured.
For 2020, just more than 1300 Gladstone properties, or 3.08 per cent, are considered to be high-risk properties, and by the year 2100 it is forecast that 2095 properties, or 4.89 per cent, will be classified as high risk.
Gladstone's national ranking for the most at-risk LGAs was 56th for 2020 and it is predicted to be ranked 75th in 2100.
The 36,000 to 57,000 residences at risk in Queensland have an estimated value between $10.5 and $16 billion dollars.
Gladstone was ranked as the 24th most costly government area in the state by the report in terms of annual cost of damage assuming all hazards are insured, and the forecast is it will be ranked in the 21st position by 2100.
Gladstone Conservation Council co-ordinator Anna Hitchcock said climate-related issues that affected the region were fire, storm surges and cyclones, and she was glad research such as the Climate Change Risk to Australia's Built Environment report was being compiled.
"We can't ignore the fact that climate change is increasing the risk to our properties, and the reality is we can do something about it.
"It would be nice to have, for instance, a transition plan for Gladstone to renewable energy.
"Nationally, we'd like to see a comprehensive change in the way the government approaches climate change," Ms Hitchcock said.
"I'd like to see a declaration of a climate emergency and the government treating it with the seriousness with which it should be treated.
"This is an existential threat.
"We are going to continue to suffer the emergencies as with the fires and they re going to become more common and more often and if you think of nothing else, it's going to cost us a lot of money."
Ms Hitchcock said solutions were simple, cheap and available.
"All that's missing is political will.
"I hope the fires brings to the forefront of everyone's minds that climate change is here right now and we need to be throwing everything we've got at this."