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RACV Inverloch Resort extension approved pending climate change-induced sea level rise and flood risk management

West Gippsland Catchment Authority flood risk concerns must be addressed. The $13.66m development includes accommodation, car spaces, and a wedding deck.

By news@gippsland - 16th August 2023 - Back to News

RACV Inverloch Resort extension can go ahead if they fix flooding risk. Bass Coast Shire Council today voted to approve a planning application to extend RACV Inverloch Resort subject to the RACV satisfying the local catchment management authority that the risk of climate change-induced sea level rises and flooding can be managed safely. The West Gippsland Catchment Authority objected to the proposed $13.66m development to build an extra 44 accommodation rooms and 39 extra car spaces at the site at 70 Cape Paterson-Inverloch Rd.

The $13.66M plan for 44 rooms, 39 car spaces, villa relocation, and a new wedding deck faced objections from West Gippsland Catchment Authority

The $13.66M plan for 44 rooms, 39 car spaces, villa relocation, and a new wedding deck faced objections from West Gippsland Catchment Authority

Tourism expansion awaits

The development includes the relocation of an existing villa and the construction of a new wedding deck with views to Bass Coast. Council said the development could go ahead if the RACV can convince the West Gippsland Catchment Authority the plans address its concerns around the flooding risk.

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor Cr Michael Whelan said council supports more tourism development in Bass Coast such as RACV Resort's extension to help boost the economy and local job numbers. But Cr Whelan said the planning framework has highlighted the lack of clarity that currently exists for landholders and developers seeking to build on the coast due to the confusion around coastal flooding rules," Cr Whelan said.

Cr Whelan said the council has been strongly advocating for urgent intervention by the state government to clarify climate change-induced coastal inundation planning. "The planning rules in flood-prone areas require an all-of-state approach," he said.

Risk hinders development

Current Victorian government policy recommends that coastal communities should plan for an average anticipated sea level rise of at least 0.8m by the year 2100. The RACV development was required to be assessed on the risk of a 1-in-100-year flooding event. The West Gippsland Catchment Authority advised that the development would "increase the amount of people and property exposed to the flood hazard" because the plans do not allow safe vehicle evacuation from the site during a flood event.

"The proposal relies on a low-level access without an alternative ingress/egress point, which in a major flooding event would present unsafe conditions for visitors, vehicles and emergency services personnel," the authority warned.

The proposed development was "not consistent with the Municipal Planning Strategy, which seeks to protect life, health, safety, and community wellbeing from environmental hazards and ensure development does not increase the risk of an environmental hazard".

Pictures from Google Maps.


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