Barney Point under water during the January floods.
Barney Point under water during the January floods. Jamie Chinery

Bye bye Barney Point, climate change is going to get you

BARNEY Point could flood regularly as climate change kicks in, and the Gladstone Regional Council admits it could be doing more to prepare for the worst of climate change.

The UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has handed down its latest report on the state of climate change, finding that sea level rises could range between 26cm and 82cm through to 2100 if emissions levels continued as they were.

The worst-case scenario pointed to a sea level rise of 98cm.

According to Queensland government documents, Barney Point could be at risk of flooding during storm tides, assuming a sea level rise of 80cm.

Associate professor and Fulbright scholar Saleh Wasimi, from CQUniversity, said local planning councils were not prepared for anything above this level.

"It's very hard to get an accurate prediction of what will happen in this particular region ... but it may experience anywhere between 1m to 3m in the next 100 years," he said.

But the IPCC noted there was low confidence in projections above its forecasts.

Councillor Col Chapman said the council was dealing with the effects of climate change through its longer-term planning processes.

The council is  putting together a comprehensive planning document combining all the plans held by the former Gladstone City, Calliope Shire and Miriam Vale Shire councils from before amalgamation in 2008.

"The way we've approached it is that it's included in most of our future planning documents rather than include it in what we're doing at the moment," Cr Chapman said.

However, he admitted the council could be doing more to plan for the effects of climate change, as well as doing more to limit its environmental footprint.

"In Gladstone we're probably behind the game on climate issues," Cr Chapman said. "It does bother us."

But he noted the council had received information from the Queensland government on how climate change would affect Gladstone.

He said the council had received the Barney Point map from the government, and this would be taken into account while weaving together its comprehensive planning document.

Do you think enough is being done to combat climate change?

This poll ended on 31 October 2013.

Current Results

Yes. The effects are years away, so we have time

29%

No. This is a huge issue and more needs to be done

27%

Yes. We have to plan for future without affecting the here and now

14%

No. We're already seeing the effects

27%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.