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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

13 December 2006

Research into effects of climate change on our communities

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced $1.6 million for five grants to help Australian cities and towns prepare for the challenges of climate change.

Senator Campbell said each project would provide data on the likely effects of climate change on towns and cities and their infrastructure such as buildings, transport and health systems and water supply.

"Many parts of Australia are vulnerable to the effects of climate change," Senator Campbell said.

"Severe storms, more frequent heat waves, less water in our dams and rising sea levels are some of the threats of climate change that can affect our lifestyles and the infrastructure we rely on.

"By choosing a range of study areas, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, the Gold Coast and inland areas of NSW and Victoria as well as the ACT, we build a better picture of the likely effects of climate change on our large cities right through to rural and coastal towns."

Senator Campbell said priorities identified in the 2005 report on climate change risk and vulnerability in Australia highlighted areas to focus on, particularly human settlements.

"Adapting to climate change is a huge challenge for everyone," Senator Campbell said.

"With this data we'll be better prepared to understand the effects of climate change and to protect and maintain our communities, our businesses and our industries."

The five projects will all use an integrated assessment methodology, an approach which knits together knowledge from a variety of disciplines such as economics, policy and law, social science and climate change science to gain an understanding of the impacts of climate change.

The projects, to be completed by June 2008, will involve partnerships with state, territory and local governments, research institutions and local communities.

The projects will provide information and adaptation options for decision makers in the study areas that will be transferable to other similar settlements across Australia.

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia