Soon to be released research stands to advice residents on ways to best respond to future flooding caused by climate change.


Co-funded by the Federal Department of Climate Change and the Victorian department of Planning and Community, the research will establish a framework for conducting cost-benefit analyses when making coastal planning decisions.


Chief Executive Officer of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), said the research would provide an invaluable tool for future planning decisions.


Five flood-prone urban areas have been used as case studies to test the economic analyses. Flood modelling was undertaken and a series of adaptation pathways costed – for the present day and the future,” Mr Spence said.


“Reassuringly for all five case study areas, even under the worst-possible scenarios modelled, the research confirms it is economically viable to continue to occupy the areas,” he said.


The Port Phillip Bay Coastal Adaptation Pathways research has found that:

  • The case-study areas looked at were valuable and the need for ‘retreat’ was excluded as an option
  • If nothing is done, flooding could get worse with climate impacts
  • Moderate investment early is cost-effective and gives the best economic return on investment
  • While we have some good information, we now know more clearly where the information gaps are, in particular the need for comprehensive catchment and coastal inundation modelling
  • If we want more accurate results, we need to consider other factors.


Mr Spence said partners looked forward to finalising the research with the Commonwealth as the project provided decision-makers with a much better understanding of the complexities involved in protecting communities against coastal flooding.


“Affected municipalities are already progressing work to manage future flooding and help their communities to plan for rising sea levels and more intensive rainfall expected in the future.


“While the research identified a number of limitations, this study will provide an important input for councils to take the next steps required to assist communities to deal with the impacts of a changing climate.