WACA, Perth sport threatened by climate change

Global warming is making the oceans rise. As well as melting ice, water expands when it warms.

OzCoasts has produced maps showing impacts for some of Australia’s coasts from average sea level rises including 1.1 metres. The actual rises could be even worse if emissions aren’t cut soon enough. The areas mapped include Perth.

The maps include impacts from high tides, although they exclude storm surges (which are also predicted to become more frequent and severe with climate change). So you should expect a park that’s between 2 and 3 metres above current average sea level to experience inundation with sea level rises of 1 metre or less.

Low lying areas are often where sports fields are located, because these areas already face 1 in 100 year flood risks that make them less suitable for building. So impacts for Australia’s sports fields provide early warnings of impacts of sea level rise that will make flooding more frequent and widespread.

What have our politicians been doing about climate change?

  • Labor has committed to taking science-based targets on emissions reduction to the next election, as well as a target of 50% clean energy by 2030
  • Labor Senators have been staunch in defending climate action against Tony Abbott’s attacks, including keeping the Climate Change Authority Open so it could issue its report on the need for greater emissions reductions.
  • West Australian Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash opposed even Malcolm Turnbull’s efforts on climate change.
  • Liberal Senator David Johnston is Minister for Defence, and Linda Reynolds has a distinguished military record. Perhaps they might explain why the US military takes climate change far more seriously than Tony Abbott does?

Across Perth and suburbs:


  • The WACA is one of the Test grounds most threatened by sea level rise in the world. It is only just above the inundation level indicated by OzCoasts map for 1.1 metres sea level rise . The pitch shows as  3 metres above current average sea level and some areas of the ground are under that height.


  • The Maylands Peninsular Golf Course shows on OzCoasts map as partly experiencing inundation.


Labor MP for Perth Alannah McTiernan is a strong advocate for climate action, and has described Tony Abbott as “the Neville Chamberlain of the climate crisis”.

The only problem with that analysis is that most people, from Churchill to George Orwell, accept that Neville Chamberlain acted honestly and honourably, although disastrously, within his limited abilities. Can we really say the same for Tony Abbott – and Greg Hunt – given the record of untruths and distortions on climate change? (Hint: No.)


Liberal Federal member for Swan, Steve Irons, claims to accept “that climate change exists and that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to the accelerated rate of climate change”. But he lined up with Tony Abbott just the same to vote for reversal of climate action by Australia, including voting for abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and of the independent Climate Change Authority. He’s even gone out of his way to oppose restrictions on synthetic refrigerant gases – 1000 times more powerful as greenhouse gases than CO2.

  • The Ascot Racecourse is at the edge of the river, and in places is just over 2 metres above current average sea level. OzCoasts maps confirm that Ascot can’t afford much sea level rise. Here’s the map for the predicted impact of 1.1 metres sea level rise:


  • Much of the area along the north bank of the Canning River marked for inundation on OzCoasts map of impacts of 1.1 metres sea level rise constitutes reserves like Bodkin Reserve.  This bit, though, shows some of the grounds of Challenger College:


Climate change is lapping at your door, Steve.


In Fremantle, Labor MP Melissa Parke has been a strong and consistent voice for climate action and for the future of sport in her area.

  •  In North Fremantle, both grounds at Gilbert Fraser reserve show on OzCoasts maps as inundated with 1.1 metres sea level rise.


  • In East Fremantle, the two grounds at John Tonkin Park show as inundated with 1.1 metres sea level rise.



In Curtin, local member Julie Bishop has done her bit to deny science and frustrate climate action. Who is she representing? (Hint: it’s not the kids in her district and their future.)

  • In Nedlands, the turf and synthetic wickets at Charles Court Reserve both show as in danger of total inundation on OzCoast maps. These grounds clearly have no room at all to spare above water.



Tangney MP Dennis Jensen  may feel proud of his record of overt climate denial, but his constituents won’t thank him in future.

  • In Applecross, the tennis courts at Jeff Joseph reserve show on OzCoasts maps as inundated.


  • At Attadale reserve, the ground shows as partly inundated.



Before the last election, the Liberals announced Ken Wyatt, now the MP for Hasluck, as a

“Community Environment Ambassador for Western Australia to work with local groups and support grassroots projects to address climate change and deliver long-term environmental benefits in Hasluck and across the State”

But Ken Wyatt’s been voting against climate action like all the other Liberals and Nationals lining up behind Tony Abbott and despite the interests of their electorates:

  • In Guildford, the Kings Meadow Oval and Kings Meadow polo ground show on OzCoasts map as inundated with 110cm sea level rise.


  • The fields behind Guildford Grammar show extensive inundation on OzCoasts map for impacts of 110 cm sea level rise


This is not the sort of “long term environmental benefit” that people in Hasluck will thank Ken Wyatt for.


Former Canning Liberal MP Don Randall made national headlines when he was found out spending $5000 of taxpayers’ money to go all the way to Cairns on what he claimed was “electorate business”.

You don’t need to go to Cairns to see areas threatened by sea level rise. And unlike Cairns, the Canning area is actually covered by OzCoasts maps. Little Hall Park might do for a start, along with all the other impacts of rising seas on communities in Canning:


Climate change  – the time for games is over

Authorised by David Mason, 47 Charles St Marrickville NSW

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