Transferable lessons for climate change adaptation planning? Managing bushfire and coastal climate hazards in Australia

Anita Foerster, Andrew Macintosh, Jan McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change is predicted to exacerbate and alter the frequency, severity and distribution of many natural hazards in Australia, including bushfire and coastal hazards. Land-use planning is widely recognised as a critical tool for reducing the vulnerability of settlements and infrastructure to such hazards. In Australia, legal and policy frameworks for land-use planning have been the subject of much scrutiny and reform effort in recent years to respond to potential climate change impacts. This article compares and contrasts the approach taken to these two different climate hazards, as well as the approaches taken by different State and Territory jurisdictions and local governments. The analysis focuses on: the range of spatial planning instruments available to address climate hazards; the types of instruments currently in use; and recent experiences of instrument design and implementation. Drawing on this analysis, a number of transferable lessons regarding the choice, design and implementation of spatial planning instruments are identified to inform the ongoing development of legal frameworks for climate change adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-490
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • climate change adaptation
  • climate law
  • planning law

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