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Climate change is anticipated to raise global sea levels, and also impact on the frequency and intensity of storm surge and erosion events. These events pose a serious threat to the Australian population, with many communities located in low-lying coastal areas. These events also give rise to a number of complicated legal issues. Law and policy-makers need to develop effective adaptation approaches that involve planning for new coastal developments while also addressing the risks to existing settlements. This poses complex questions spanning planning and property law, and also gives rise to legal liability risks.
The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the various legal issues that are likely to arise in Australia as governments search for the most effective way to adapt to the projected impacts of sea-level rise. Fundamentally, the book is about legal risk management, because regardless of what action or inaction governments take, it is likely that there will be economic consequences. The book explores how legal risks can be managed, and what legal approaches can be implemented to reduce the likely economic impacts and spread them across time. It also considers the evolving role of the insurance industry in supplementing government action.