A new warning from scientists about the cost of rising sea levels.

A report released today, says it could cost $50 billion to repair damaged coastal infrastructure in Queensland and recommends preventative action begins immediately.

Gabrielle Boland reports.


Queenslanders won’t forget the devastation caused by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

And extreme weather events could get worse.

A Climate Change Council’s report predicts sea levels will increase between 40cm and one metre in the next century.

It says the cost of coastal flooding in southeast Queensland could double by 2030 and quadruple by 2070.

The report says that between $11.3 billion and $17 billion worth of commercial and light industrial buildings are at risk.

Lesley Hughes, Climate Change report author: “We’re already locked in to a reasonable amount of sea level rise, and because of that and because of that we need better coastal planning to adapt. At the moment lots of our local governments are on their own and struggling.”

And the report stresses that local, state and federal government need to work more closely with each other.

Already some councils are moving to re-zone flood risk areas something Bayside resident Dave Riley, believes is short sighted.

Dave Riley, Beachmore resident: “The council has decided to proceed by putting the onus on the individual property owner rather than dealing with the threat of flooding.”

Mr Riley says the re-zoning threatens to dramatically increase his insurance premiums.

A spokesperson from the Insurance Council of Australia said owners of low lying coastal properties which are protected by permanent, well-designed and well-maintained mitigation will pay much less expensive insurance premiums.

Gabrielle Boland, QUT news.