Councillors support collaborative approach to adapting to sea level and flooding in Marks Point and Belmont South

The draft plan to help the communities of Marks Point and Belmont South adapt to future sea level rise and flood risks will soon begin a 60-day period of public exhibition, after receiving unanimous support at Lake Macquarie City Council at last night’s meeting.

Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope, said the thorough process was designed to give the local communities of Marks Point and Belmont South a great deal of involvement in the development of plans to minimise flood risks now and in the future.

“The decision by Councillors to publicly exhibit Lake Macquarie City’s first local adaptation plan, which outlines actions to help manage the risk of current and future flooding and tidal inundation, is a positive step forward after five years of planning and 18 months of extensive collaboration between Council and local residents,” Ms Pope said.

“The elected Council commended Council staff and the community who together have come a long way since Council adopted the Lake Macquarie Flood Plan in 2012, which recommended developing area-specific adaptation plans to address flood and sea level rise risks.

“The process to develop the draft Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan saw the community work closely with Council to narrow down a number of options to a list of key actions that met very specific criteria including maintaining the lifestyle of local residents and cost effectiveness.”

Speaking in support of placing the draft plan on public exhibition at Monday night’s meeting, Councillor Barney Langford praised Council staff for closely involving the community in the development of the draft plan.

“It needs to be noted that this strategy has been developed not by Council, but by the community,” Cr Langford said.

“Through the formation of a Community Working Group, the community took ownership of the problem and by owning the problem, the community was then able to own the solutions – that is the genius of this strategy.”

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