On Saturday, we heard about Port Macquarie Hastings Council forcing residents out of their homes for the sake of an imagined future sea level rise.
LIKE many working couples, Anne and Russell Secombe decided to find a place by the sea where they would eventually retire to live out the rest of their lives pursuing simple pleasures.
In the 1970s, the couple, now in their 80s, found it, a modest single-level brick house at 23 Illaroo Rd, Lake Cathie, a town on the NSW mid-north coast.
It’s simple bliss: Anne, a retired clerk, spends time keeping up her neat garden; Russell, a retired mechanic, angles on the beach for blackfish, flathead and bream. But yesterday the Secombes’ sense of hard-earned stability collapsed when they discovered they could be among the first victims in Australia to be dispossessed of their home. Not because of any existing environmental threat, but because the local council believes climate change could pose one by the end of the century.
In a move that struck incredulity, alarm and fear among locals, Port Macquarie Hastings Council put a study on the council website recommending that council enforce a “planned retreat” for the owners of the 17 houses on Illaroo Road. The area is one of 15 “hot spots” identified by the NSW government as being vulnerable to the effects of sea level rises due to climate change, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
[...]The council’s plan would mean the Secombes and their neighbours would, over an unspecified period of time, be expected or required to sell their house to the council and move out.
“We don’t want to shift, no way,” Mr Secombe told The Weekend Australian yesterday.
Ms Outtrim tells of their frustration at not being able to renovate the 1970s, two-storey brick house they bought five years ago because of the council’s stance.
After the couple bought the house with a plan to renovate it and retire in it, the council imposed a ban on Illaroo Road owners doing any redevelopments on their properties.
Council’s action has reduced property values on Illaroo Road by between a third and a half, according to local observers.
[...]The owners of the Illaroo Road houses say they are happy to take the risk of climate change themselves, but resent the council imposing a solution on them that will cost them dearly.
But of course, the people are too stupid to make their own decisions and have to be told what to do by an all-knowing local government who have the infinite wisdom of the IPCC to back them up.
Now NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell looks set to ditch the policy of planned retreat.
HOME owners in the NSW town of Lake Cathie appear likely to escape an eviction order recommended by a consultant’s report that calls for a “planned retreat” from a predicted rise in sea levels, as the O’Farrell government is expected to discard the alarmist climate change predictions of its Labor predecessor.
The state government administrator of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council on the NSW mid-north coast, Neil Porter, yesterday told The Australian he rejected the consultant’s proposal, saying it was clear locals “want to remain in their houses”.
[...]That (“planned retreat”) strategy, announced in 2009 by then environment minister and now Opposition Leader John Robertson, relied on the IPCC prediction of big sea-level rises in coming decades and more severe weather events, which combined are thought to accelerate coastal erosion.
It is incredible that such a policy was even on the table, that government bureaucrats would think they have the right to tell people that they must abandon their homes and that they cannot take risks that they deem acceptable. This is an issue of freedom, personal responsibility and private property, with government infringing on these fundamental rights. One wonders if clowns like Robertson have ever seen The Castle. In the words of Darryl Kerrigan, “it’s not a house it’s a home”, “a man’s home is his castle” and “this country’s got to stop stealing other people’s land”. It’s good to see State Premiers in Campbell Newman, Barry O’Farrell and even Ted Baillieu start to wind back these ridiculous green schemes.
(Via Andrew Bolt)