CLAIMS that Lake Macquarie City Council’s sea level rise policy was ‘‘too black and white’’ were dismissed at last week’s council meeting.
Councillor Ken Paxinos raised the matter over the council’s Lifestyle 2030 strategy, which outlines the future direction for the city.
He said the council wanted residents to prepare for worse-case sea level rise predictions, despite roads and other infrastructure not being included.
Cr Paxinos said the council needed to be realistic about its sea level predictions, and leave it up to developers and insurance companies if floor levels needed to be raised.
More flexibility was needed in the council’s policy, he said.
He gave an example of a Dora Creek resident being made to adjust their floor level height to 2.36 metres – well above Australian Height Datum recommendations and levels reached during the 2007 Pasha Bulka storm.
Cr Paxinos said the council’s sea level policy was not encouraging development in Lake Macquarie.
Councillor Barry Johnson said the council was taking the right approach and should take the necessary precautions.
He said the science was out there to support sea level rise, and the council should protect its residents from flooding.
Councillors voted 9-2 against Cr Paxinos’s move to defer the Lifestyle 2030 strategy.
Councillors Paxinos and Jason Pauling wanted to defer the decision until after a ‘‘Our City, Our Future’’ public lecture on the impacts of extreme weather on insurance policies, which was hosted by council last week.