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Infrastructure services provider plans for climate change

Cardno has developed a planning model that will enable a local council to safeguard its residents from the physical and financial impacts of climate change.

As part of its proactive approach to the threat of climate change, Sydney’s Manly Council employed Cardno to conduct an independent analysis on the likely effects of climate change during the next century and develop a strategy to reduce the impact on the local community and its infrastructure for implementation over a 30-year period.

Cardno made predictions for Manly Council on the impact of sea level rises and catchment flooding, as well as the potential effects of higher temperatures, storm frequency and wind velocity increases.

Cardno New South Wales Sustainability and Climate Change Manager Louise Collier said a variety of adaptive and mitigation measures were proposed for a schedule of works following the identification of potential climate change impacts.

“For each adaptive action, a costing of implementation and economic evaluation of the likely benefit was determined,” she said.

Cardno’s evaluations included how councils can protect infrastructure assets such as roads, buildings, footpaths, bridges, walking trails, bus shelters, car parks, sporting fields and swimming pools.

“Cardno has been involved in planning for the adaptation to climate change for a number of years through our numerous coastal, estuary and floodplain projects,” she said.

“More recently, we have harnessed our multi-disciplinary strength in the fields of infrastructure, transport planning and environmental services to provide the complete suite of services to assist the public and private sector prepare for climate change.

“We have keen interest in these services not only in Australia but also in places like Indonesia and China where adaptation and mitigation are important in the planning for new communities,” she said.

Cardno also examined ways for Manly Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Collier said some recommended actions would require the Council to work in partnership with other State and Federal government agencies, as well as neighbouring councils.

She said the forward planning program devised represented a comprehensive, economic and effective strategy to adapt to a changing environment.

“Working with Manly Council on this unique project has demonstrated that Cardno continues to lead in providing tangible solutions to a problem that is at the forefront of both local and global community concern,” Ms Collier said.

Manly Council is proposing a special climate change levy for its ratepayers, with a referendum on whether to implement the levy to be held concurrently with New South Wales’ local government elections in September.

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