Higher floors, lower roofs: the town being shrunk by climate change angst

Source: The Australian

PORT Albert, on Victoria’s southeast coast, is a pretty-as-a-picture fishing village that is at war with the science of climate change.

Residents in the village have been told that because of rising sea levels, new housing has to be built on stumps almost 1.5m above ground level, despite the fact many of the town’s original colonial buildings have withstood time and tide on ground level without ill effect since the 19th century.

At the same time, a heritage overlay in the village, introduced more than a decade ago, prevents roof lines being built higher than the roof of the local pub, which is claimed to be Victoria’s oldest continuously licensed hotel.

Residents have seen land values plummet by 38 per cent in the past year under the weight of the overlays. Investment in the town has stalled. And Port Albert Progress Association president Donna Eades says that, with rising floor levels and roof lines limited by the height of the pub, “the next generation of Port Albert residents will have to be pygmies”.

Read More: Higher floors, lower roofs: the town being shrunk by climate change angst

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