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Rising sea-levels could see Docklands underwater

26 Apr 2016

Rising sea-levels could see Docklands underwater Image

Parts of Docklands could be underwater by 2100 according to new climate change modelling released last month.

The Coastal Risk Australia website allows users to see how rising sea levels could affect different parts of Australia by 2100, based on findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The website looks at three different scenarios ranging from sea level rise of 0.44 metres (low), 0.54 metres (medium) and 0.74 metres (high).

According to the website, if the sea rises by 0.74 metres by 2100, at high tide we would see much of the Docklands waterfront inundated with water.

Areas affected would include the end of Central Pier, Victoria Harbour Promenade, parts of Collins and Merchant streets, North Wharf Rd and large sections of the southern side of Victoria Harbour, including the ANZ site.

Parts of Harbour Esplanade would be inundated near Docklands Park. The water would creep up to Buluk Park behind the Library at the Dock and the Shed 5 site next to the Mission to Seafarers would also be underwater.

At Yarra’s Edge, much of Lorimer St will be affected, with the water also spreading across part of the low-rise townhouse precinct. Strolls along the Yarra’s Edge waterfront would also be impeded, with the entire marina frontage expected to be underwater.

Surprisingly, the forecast suggests NewQuay will be relatively unaffected by rising sea levels.

It’s anticipated only limited sections of the precinct will be affected, including overwater restaurant Cargo and Berth and a strip of land adjacent to Ron Barassi Senior Park.

If sea levels rise by 0.74 metres by 2100, the Moonee Ponds Creek will break its banks, creeping uncomfortably close to Harbour Town and O’Brien Group Arena.

While the launch of the Coastal Risk Australia website last month has drawn attention to the issue of rising sea levels in waterfront areas such as Docklands, steps are being taken to lessen the impact.

Since 2008, the State Government has required authorities to plan for sea level rise of no less than 0.8 metres.

All buildings approved and built in Docklands since 2008 are required to have a floor level 2.4 metres higher than the average sea level.

However, given many of Docklands’ buildings were constructed prior to 2008, we could see some buildings affected by rising sea levels, while their neighbours remain dry.

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