SCU forum looks at impacts on local coastal communities

By LEONIE BRANN

SCIENTIST Graham Jones yesterday called for a national conference to address the effects of climate change on coastal communities.

Associate Professor Jones used the Climate Change and Coastal Communities Forum at Southern Cross University to push for a national approach.

About 115 people attended the talks organised by Southern Cross University, in conjunction with Rous Water, Lismore City Council and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

Leading experts in the field of climate change, agriculture, water management, coastal management and town design and planning also took part.

The forum, held at Invercauld House, was the first of its kind to focus on creating local solutions for local problems, and to look at how climate change may affect the future development of coastal communities.

Prof Jones said the forum had been so well received that a national conference, focusing on climate change in the booming coastal areas, would be held on the Gold Coast next year.

"Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing coastal communities as they plan to deal with increased population and demands on infrastructure," Prof Jones said.

"There was only one talk focusing on climate change and its effects on agriculture, so I have been speaking with the Department of Agriculture at Wollongbar about holding a conference locally to look at the local issues."

Some of the topics covered at the forum included climate projections for Northern NSW and South-East Queensland, the implications of climate change for water resources, integrating Greenhouse with strategic, urban and rural planning and climate change and coastal erosion.

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