A number of climate change impacts exist for built infrastructure within the region. Examples of this include:
- Increased heat events will lead to higher rates of deterioration of buildings and built assets which will result in higher maintenance costs for roofing, cladding, window and other systems.
- An increase in the severity of rainfall events that will lead to localised flooding, resulting in inundation infrastructure and increased maintenance and repair costs. This will result in disruption to services and damage/blocking of drainage sewerage systems and contamination of waterways. Additionally, these events will increase the risk of landslides occurring, affecting road and drainage infrastructure.
- A decrease in mean rainfall will lead to reduced environmental flows and impacts on infrastructure integrity and performance (drainage pipes crack in low flows) causing increased maintenance and upgrade costs.
- Sea level rise and storm surge will result in the erosion of coastal assets (including marinas and boat ramps) and direct flooding. This will have a direct impact on road and drainage infrastructure. Risks also exist to retired landfill sites and septic tanks, with resent examples where these have been exposed during extreme weather events.
Across the region there are a number of industries that will be affected by climate change, each to varying degrees. Examples of this are discussed below.
- As the region becomes warmer and drier, the dairy industry may face challenges with farmers being forced to switch to grain feeding their herds, which will consequently lead to lower cattle weights and milk yields. This could lead to a loss of employment opportunities in the region.
- An opportunity exists for farmers to switch to cropping as it becomes a more viable agricultural activity in traditional dairying areas.
- As the region becomes warmer and drier the forestry industry may face challenges with declining yields through less and/or lighter logs being produced. This will negatively impact communities and the local economy through job losses. There is also a greater risk of plantation being destroyed through bushfire.
- The tourism industry is expected to face challenges as events such as bushfire and coastal inundation are expected to impact upon natural attractions including the Grampians National Park and the Great Otway National Park.