Peron Naturaliste Partnership

The Peron Naturaliste region is comprised of the local governments of Bunbury, Busselton, Capel, Dardanup, Harvey, Mandurah, Murray, Rockingham and Waroona. These local governments recognise the current and potential future vulnerability of the coastline and have agreed to work corroboratively with state and federal government to build a resilient regional community to reduce risks and optimize opportunities presented by climate change and climate variability.

The region is working together with the aim to be adequately prepared to respond to current coastal processes and issues which impact the coastal zone and the future impacts and opportunities posed by climate change.

In 2011 and 2012 the PNP worked with state and federal government to ‘Develop Flexible Adaptation Pathways for the Peron Naturaliste Region of Western Australia (CAPS Project).

Project Title

Developing Flexible Adaptation Pathways for the Peron Naturaliste Coastal Region of Western Australia.

Project Funding

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) - Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways, total project funding from DCCEE $440,000.00 (2011-2012).

Project Partners

The Peron Naturaliste Partnership comprises the Local Governments in Rockingham, Mandurah, Murray, Waroona, Harvey, Bunbury, Dardanup, Capel and Busselton as well as the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Department of Transport (DoT), Department of Planning (DoP) and the Department of Water (DoW).

Project Summary

Phase I: Regional Vulnerability Assessment

Based on the timelines of 2030, 2070 and 2110, the regional risk of coastal erosion and inundation and its impact on infrastructure and residential and commercial properties was examined producing a range of maps depicting inundation and erosion scenarios (consultant: Damara WA).

Phase II: Testing Adaptation Options at a Regional Scale

The economic assessment undertaken by consultants Acil Tasman looked at all assets affected by the 2030, 2070 and 2110 scenarios and valued them accordingly to their function and availability into the future. This assessment was undertaken at a large scale regional level.

Phase III: 4 Case Study Analysis: Flexible Local Adaptation Pathways

Four case study areas were chosen to refine the findings from Phase II: Mandurah (Foreshore, Marina, Canals and Halls Head); Collie River (Harvey, Dardanup, Bunbury); Peppermint Grove Beach (Capel) and Siesta Park/Marybrook (Busselton). The analysis looks at detailed adaptation measures such as building sea walls, what their cost implications are and at what time they have to be considered (consultants: Acil Tasman and Damara WA).

Phase IV: Formulation and Delivery of Final Reports to DCCEE.

Final step.

Project Outcomes And Findings

Significant assets are at risk from coastal erosion and inundation;

A range of options and tools for adaptation measures and building resilience are available for the Peron Naturaliste region – strategic planning, constructing protection devices such as sea walls, artificial reefs etc, timed approvals, planned retreat and in some cases observation of the coastline;

Communication of the findings of the project to the wider community is crucial in order to build resilience and achieve a better outcome for the community rather than instigating panic;

A long term approach has been identified as the best way to address coastal erosion and inundation – there is no need for short-term ad-hoc decisions;

‘Doing nothing’ is not an option – while science into climate change and coastal erosion and inundation deals with a large degree of uncertainty, Local Government has to reasonably address climate change in their risk assessments and day-to-day decision making;

Adaptation measures are only successful if they are addressed and undertaken on a regional and state level – if Busselton builds sea walls, Mandurah and Rockingham will erode faster; and

The PNP project has strengthened cooperation between Local Governments and State Government Departments at a regional level.

Moving forward

Local Governments and the State Government have to take ownership of and responsibility for climate change and coastal erosion adaptation and mitigation responses – the PNP has been acknowledged as taking the lead in climate change adaption in Western Australia (it is the only funded project in WA under the Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways program);

Mayors, Shire Presidents, Councillors, CEOs and officers are to agree on a way forward in communicating the findings of the project, engaging the community in a wider debate on building resilience and achieving better community outcomes;

Mayors, Shire Presidents, Councillors, CEOs and officers are to debate the future of the PNP beyond the DCCEE funded project and under potential different political circumstances;

Officers will collaboratively work to compile a PNP wide Local Planning Policy on Climate Change Adaptation Measures and prepare a generic Scheme Amendment documentation that can be utilised by all member Local Governments.

For more information visit the Peron Naturaliste Partnership website on