Last week the Qld Planning and Environment Court delivered a significant climate change adaptation decision. The Rainbow Shores P/L v Gympie Regional Council & Ors case sets a new precedent for decision makers considering development in the Qld coastal zone.
The court has dismissed an appeal by the developer of a large integrated resort and residential community at Rainbow Beach on the basis of its potential exposure to erosion, storm surge and climate change related sea level rise.
The court noted that mapping of coastal hazards is currently subject to draft coastal protection state planning regulatory provisions.
The Judge concluded that it would be unwise to grant a development approval, without ensuring that the future development is protected from potential inundation. The proposal should make allowance for the 100 year ocean surge level. The Judge could not justify ignoring the current predictions of sea level rise affecting the property. The development proposal was considered to be inadequate in its current form.