Cairns, a city at risk or opportunity?

Sophie Barrett2, Dr David Rissik1, Shannon Haines3

1BMT, 2Cairns City Council, Cairns, Queensland, 3Ethos Urban, Brisbane, Queensland

Abstract:

Cairns Regional Council in partnership with the Queensland Government, is planning to address the effects of a changing climate on the Cairns coastal region via the Our Cairns Coast: Adapting for the future project.
Coastal changes from storm tide inundation, coastal erosion and climate related sea level rise will impact our region – the natural and built environment, our community’s wellbeing, and our economy.
Unique to the Cairns region are:
– The extent of the area likely to be affected by coastal changes
– The critical assets impacted compounded with a relatively isolated location (relative to other cities)
– Cairns city’s role as a tourism gateway and a gateway to the Cape
– The reliance on a ‘rainforest and reef’ tourist offering
– Traditional owner connections to country, wealth of knowledge and actions already being undertaken to adapt to change
– A disaster management awareness and resilient community spirit
This project has taken an engagement focus to bring the community and stakeholders on a journey to identify important assets and values, identify risks and develop contemporary adaptation solutions for a salty future. Our Cairns Coast aims to celebrate shared values and culture while creating opportunities to build resilience and deliver improved environmental outcomes.