City of Hobart: including climate change in coastal adaptation planning

Ms Katrina Graham1

1Hobart City Council, Hobart, Australia


Hobart, Australia’s second oldest and southern-most capital city, is located on the Derwent Estuary, which discharges to Storm Bay and the remote Southern Ocean.  It is developing a coastal hazards strategy and undertaking adaptation planning for its coastal areas  vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal hazards.

Key to this is developing an understanding of Hobart’s coastal values and features that includes 278 known Aboriginal and European heritage sites.

The City is keen to understand its patterns of coastal use and development and where these have resulted in coastal modifications: sea walls, wharves and jetties, removal of sand and sediments; and relocation of waterways etc.

It engaged consultants to undertake a world-first coastal cultural heritage study and their vulnerability to climate hazards.  The study identifies key heritage features, events and sites to be considered through coastal adaptation pathway planning processes. Specifically it identified:

  • Aboriginal sites and pathways to approaching Aboriginal heritage
  • Site of significance
  • Potential for further areas of investigation
  • Potential new heritage listings

The unique study provides a crucial narrative for the coastal adaptation of the City’s 17 km coastline.  Its analysis of historical events and coastal archeology provides an account of Hobart’s coastal heritage and values, how these have developed and influencing factors factors (social, cultural, economic).  The project informs the preparation of Hobart’s coastal hazard strategy ensuring cultural and heritage considerations are taken into account and woven into coastal adaptation planning and will provide a key platform for community engagement.


Katrina is Climate Change Officer at the City of Hobart. She has over 25 years’ experience as policy and project officer in State and local government.  She is a strong advocate for local government climate collaborative and cooperative action that increases the capacity and capability of councils and their communities to prepare for and respond to climate change impacts and hazards. Through her role within the City she also coordinates regional action across the 12 southern Tasmanian councils and is coordinating the preparation of a regional coastal strategy and a regional council’s climate strategy and council climate action template.