Limp, leap or learn? Developing legal frameworks for climate change adaptation planning in Australia

Authors: Andrew Macintosh, Anita Foerster and Jan McDonald
Year: 2013

There is a range of legal tools and instruments that can be used to influence the spatial distribution and nature of land use and development, and hence the exposure and vulnerability of settlements to climate hazards. Drawing on extensive investigation of existing legal frameworks, and interviews with local and state planning, emergency management and coastal officers in selected coastal and bushfire prone areas across Australia, this project has identified potential benefits and challenges associated with different instruments and makes a number of recommendations regarding the way in which they can be employed to support effective and efficient adaptation to climate change. The analysis is not limited to traditional land use planning instruments such as zones, overlays and approval conditions. Instead, it considers the broad suite of spatial planning instruments applicable to both new and existing development. The instrument categories considered include: Framing instruments, information instruments, regulatory instruments (flexible and fixed), compulsory acquisition instruments, voluntary instruments, taxes and charges, and liability shield instruments. Examples drawn from current Australian practice are used to illustrate how each instrument can be employed to address climate change-related coastal and bushfire hazards. A more user-friendly summary report can be found at:

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