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Metropolitan flood alert

CHRIS THOMSON

Chunks of Langley Park, Heirrison Island and Port Coogee will frequently flood by 2100 under the best case scenario of Federal Government climate change maps.

Under worst case estimates, the whole park, most of the Narrows peninsula, much of Fremantle’s West End, and half of Ascot Racecourse will flood at least annually.

The maps, produced by OzCoasts, and released yesterday by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, make sombre viewing for owners of many river and coastal properties in South Perth, Fremantle, Cockburn, Bayswater and Bassendean.

Low (0.5m), medium (0.8m) and high (1.1m – examples pictured) sea level rise scenarios have been forecast for the year 2100.

The low scenario represents flooding that OzCoasts says is likely to be unavoidable.

“These maps are an important product for the community to understand potential risks to infrastructure and properties and to prepare for the climate change impacts of sea level rises,” Mr Combet said.

Mr Combet said the maps would help coastal and river communities prepare for the future impacts of climate change.

“Additionally we need to face the challenge of starting to prepare for impacts to existing developments where past decision making did not address climate change impacts and where areas may be vulnerable to inundation as the sea level rises,” he said.

“Early engagement with communities in these areas will be critical to the development of workable adaptation solutions for local areas, so they are able to avoid risk.

“Where this is not possible, this engagement will help ensure they are as prepared as possible to cope with climate change impacts as they arise.”

Many mapped areas are the same as those currently prone to flooding in big storms.

However, OzCoasts stresses the pictured flooding may now occur at least annually, and that big storms in 2100 are likely to flood even larger areas.

Low-lying areas in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Southeast Queensland and the Hunter and Central Coast in NSW have been mapped as part of the project.

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