Weeklytimesnow: REMOTE inland communities will be more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than other country centres, according to research. The report, Australia’s Country Towns 2050: What will a climate adapted settlement pattern look like, by University of Adelaide researchers state towns closest to capital cities and with more diverse workforces beyond agriculture appear to be less vulnerable to climate change.
Researchers warn climate change will have differing impacts on agricultural production across Australia and some country towns may lose their base due to the change and need to adapt to survive.
They also warn other impacts include frequent extreme weather events will add another dimension to farming.
More floods will put pressure on infrastructure like roads and bridges which will see more work for the volunteer emergency services. It is also tipped the increased stress will lead to greater pressures on already stretched health services.
The report compares almost 2000 inland towns of more than 200 people, using a “vulnerability index”.
“Many parts of the established cropping lands in south east of Australia appear to face a relatively muted risk, while settlements in Western Australia’s agricultural lands appear to face a greater threat than those in South Australia or Victoria,” the report states.
“The level of vulnerability appears high throughout NSW also, and this may partly be a function of the distance of many of these centres from Sydney or one of the other capitals.”
White Cliffs in NSW tops the national list as the most vulnerable non-coastal location if predictions for increased temperatures and reduced rainfall by 2050 are correct.
It is followed by Tottenham, NSW; Kowanyama, QLD, Camooweal, QLD and Ivanhoe in NSW rounds out the top five.
No Victorian or South Australian town made the nation’s top 20 most vulnerable list.
The least affected inland areas can be found in South Australia at Crafers-Bridgewater and Summertown; followed by Ballarat, Bendigo in Victoria and Toowoomba in Queensland.
Victoria’s most vulnerable town is Underbool followed by Cann River; South Australia’s is Wudinna and Booleroo Centre, in Western Australia it’s Mahogany Creek and The Vines and in Tasmania Bothwell and Ringarooma top the list.
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