"The state's view is that the risk to a property from sea-level rise lies with the property owner, public or private - or, whoever owns the land takes the risk. They gain the benefit of proximity to the ocean and they bear the risk of proximity to the ocean."
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The NSW plan is being developed as scientists and councils warn that sea-level rise from climate change will greatly increase the number of beachfront homes at risk of inundation in coming decades, affecting some of the most expensive property in the country.
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The NSW Government released a draft policy statement on sea-level rise in February but councils and coastal property owners are only now realising its implications for beachfront properties.
The policy is based on scientific advice that sea levels are expected to rise up to 0.4 metres by 2050 and up to 0.9 metres by 2100.
Each centimetre of sea-level rise is expected to cause, on average, a metre of erosion along vulnerable coastlines. Sydney coastal councils were warned this week that the frequency of coastal flooding would increase by a factor of 300 if sea levels rose by half a metre.