Sceptics rebut sea level rise policy

SCEPTIC: Ian Plimer addresses last night's audience. - Picture by PETER STOOP
SCEPTIC: Ian Plimer addresses last night's audience. - Picture by PETER STOOP

MORE than 300 people attended a meeting at Belmont 16ft Sailing Club last night to hear three climate change researchers challenge Lake Macquarie City Council’s sea level rise policy.

Prominent Hunter businessman Jeff McCloy called the meeting as part of his campaign for the council to review the ‘‘flawed policy’’.

Professor Ian Plimer, Professor Robert Carter and David Archibald spoke about their doubts about climate change predictions.

They used scientific language, a dash of humour and colourful quotes to make their cases.

The speakers referred to a lot of graphs and statistics, which some residents said were difficult to understand.

But several residents said the meeting showed, by the strong attendance alone, that there was concern about the effect the council’s sea level rise policy would have on their livelihoods.

Mr McCloy is planning a class action against Lake Macquarie councillors for devaluing and restricting properties with its sea level rise policy.

He told the audience that the council should show common sense and do nothing about sea level rise until evidence proved it was rising at levels that required property protection.

Professor Carter said distinguished scientists were ‘‘in this game of hyping up’’ climate change and sea level rise.

He said models that scientists were using to predict rising sea levels were ‘‘sheer fantasy’’.

He criticised Lake Macquarie council’s approach to the matter.

‘‘It’s insane public policy to base planning regulations on average global sea level,’’ he said.

Lake Macquarie mayor Greg Piper said the meeting was ‘‘not a debate, but information provided by one side of the debate’’.

In response to a question from the crowd, Cr Piper said he would work with state politicians to finance monitoring of lake levels.