Climate Change and Coastal Development Law in Australia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Climate Change and Coastal Development Law in Australia

1st Edition

By Justine Bell

Federation Press

400 pages

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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.

Table of Contents


Table of Cases

Table of Statutes

1. Introduction

2. Planning for new coastal development – an overview of State government legislative and policy frameworks

3. Legal approaches to addressing sea-level rise, erosion and inundation risk in new developments

4. Legal approaches to addressing sea-level rise, erosion and inundation risk in existing developments

5. Impacts on property ownership, and compensation implications for government

6. Communicating information on risks and land use restrictions to landholders and future purchasers

7. Liability and litigation issues for government

8. Liability and litigation risks for other entities

9. Insurance and economic responses to sea-level rise, erosion and storm-surge inundation


About the Author

Justine Bell is a Lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the areas of environmental law and climate change law. Justine obtained a PhD from Queensland University of Technology in 2010, and was awarded an ARC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2011. She undertook her postdoctoral research at the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland, focusing on legal, policy and insurance responses to sea-level rise.

Her main area of research interest is climate change adaptation law, as well as environmental, planning and property law. She is also particularly interested in multidisciplinary approaches to these issues, and has collaborated widely with researchers from science.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology