Change needed: Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy Dr Caroline Sullivan, from Southern Cross University, wants climate change to be considered when rebuilding after the floods.
Change needed: Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy Dr Caroline Sullivan, from Southern Cross University, wants climate change to be considered when rebuilding after the floods.

Planning for climate change

THE discussion isn't about whether we're causing climate change – it's about how we're going to plan for it, according to a Southern Cross University expert.

Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy Caroline Sullivan believes we need to take the Queensland flood disasters as a warning to plan for a changing environment.

“Let us take advantage of this opportunity to rebuild in such a way as to ensure all infrastructure developments across Australia are more resilient, to ensure urban planning takes account of the impacts of climate change,” Dr Sullivan said.

“So many people are focusing on whether humans are having a role in climate change but that doesn't matter.”

Dr Sullivan believes planning for climate change would put Australians in a more secure position to deal with extreme events.

“The lesson we can take from the disasters that have unfolded across Queensland and other parts of the world, is that we have to act now.”

Dr Sullivan acknowledged communication between academics, scientists, politicians and the public was the first step.

“We are all aware of the problems but we all work in our little boxes,” Dr Sullivan said.

“We need strong communication – the fact is we are part of the environment and we have to change with it.

“For example the desalination plant at Tugun was controversial but now is being held up as the way we can support Brisbane's water supply.

“Sometimes you need to invest more than you think you need to for the future.”



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