var _sf_startpt=(new Date()).getTime()

Sea level rise and inner west Sydney sport

Climate change is warming the seas as well as the atmosphere. Water expands when it warms. So the seas are rising - around 200mm last century and accelerating. This is the sort of basic science that Tony Abbott and his cynical crew are denying. And they are stuffing the future of Australian sport, among other things.

OzCoasts mapping indicates that lots of the grounds used for sports in Sydney's inner West are threatened by sea level rise from climate change. Some Federal Members of Parliament are standing up for action. Some are playing the wrong game and facing the wrong way.

Sydney: Tanya Plibersek stands up for climate action

Tanya Plibersek has been a strong and consistent advocate for climate action. Her own seat of Sydney includes the following grounds threatened by sea level rise of a metre or less:

birchgrove_110 jubilee
Birchgrove Park Jubilee Oval, Glebe

Birchgrove Park starts to experience serious entry of water from the harbour at 80cmsea level rise. With 1.1 sea level rise the ocean reaches across the ground almost to the pitch. Jubilee Oval in Glebe experiences almost complete inundation with 1.1 metres sea level rise.

Watson: Tony Burke acts against sea level rise reaching up the Cooks River

tasker
Tasker Park, Canterbury

Tasker Park starts to show significant inundation on OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metre sea level. Federal member for this area is Tony Burke. Tony has been Federal Minister for the Environment (not a Minister against the Environment like Christopher Pyne) and has spoken for real climate action instead of just the "direct action slogan offered by the Abbott Government. 

Grayndler: Anthony Albanese defends our turf

One of the scenarios modelled by OzCoasts for this century, if we do not act effectively on climate change, right now - 1.1 metres of sea level rise - shows the following grounds suffering inundation (factoring in high tides but without even accounting for storm surges):

callan
ewen marrickville
Callan Park, Lilyfield Ewen Park, Hurlstone Park Mahoney Reserve, Steel Park,
and Marrickville Golf Club
mackey fraser_park  
Mackey Park, Marrickville Fraser Park, Marrickville  

The Federal Member for all these grounds is Anthony Albanese, a long-time and staunch advocate of climate action. As Environment spokesman for Labor, he put climate action into the ALP Platform in 1998, and has not faltered since then. "Albo" is standing up and defending our turf.

Barton: Nick Varvaris should know better and do something

Just across the Cooks River from Anthony Albanese's electorate, it's the same threat - but a very different story. No advocacy or voting in Federal Parliament to defend your turf and our game.

The new Liberal member for Barton, Nickolas Varvaris, should know better about climate issues from his time at Kogarah Council, which has actually won awards for their work on climate change. But as a new Federal MP he has lined up behind Tony Abbott and voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

What he hasn't voted for - in fact, what he has voted against - are grounds in his own electorate which are under threat and on OzCoasts maps are marked with blue:

beaman gough cahill_pk_wolli_ck
Wills Ground (rugby);
Beaman Park, Earlwood
Gough Whitlam Park Earlwood Cahill Park, Wolli Creek

Some high tides already have the adjoining tidal Cooks River onto outer areas of Gough Whitlam Park, and the local council has had to undertake significant drainage and path repair works. Further rising sea levels could see the whole ground under water.

Even with the impacts from 50 cm sea level rise , Cahill Park - which is next to the tidal Cooks River - would see salt water on much of its area.

Time for Nick Varvaris MP to back local interests! Or get someone better on the team, with a change to Labor next election.

Bennelong: John Alexander playing for Tony Abbott, not your kids' team

John Alexander might know a bit about the elite sport that gave him success and fame back in the day. But where is he, on standing up for the grounds your kids play on? Voting the wrong way, that's where.

He's said he accepts the science of climate change. Yet he voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

What he hasn't voted for, are grounds in his own electorate which are under threat, and which on OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metre sea level rise are in the areas marked blue:

morrison meadowbank
Morrison Bay Park, Putney; 
Bill Mitchell Park, Gladesville 
Meadowbank 

These grounds are also important for other sports besides cricket, of course. For example, Morrison Bay has netball fields (for the biggest community participation sport in Australia) which would also experience inundation.

In sharp contrast to John Alexander, Labor's candidate for Bennelong - Jason Yat-Sen Li - has done major work himself on climate action in the corporate world. He led climate initiatives for IAG, in particular. Which one is really the good sport?

Reid: is Craig Laundy really on your side?

New Liberal Member for Reid Craig Laundy referred in his maiden speech in Parliament to playing cricket in the area. But when it came to voting, he joined those with Tony Abbott who were sledging the umpire,  kicking down the stumps, obstructing the field, and reversing climate action.

He voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Not just following orders when he votes, either. Since then he's been tweeting rubbish about how we can't afford the Renewable Energy Target.

OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metres sea level rise show threats in particular to these parks:

campbell_park_chiswick russell_park taplin
Campbell Park, Chiswick Russell Park, Chiswick Taplin Park (next to Drummoyne Oval)
timbrell_park_fivedock barnwell_park_golf massey_park_golf
Timbrell Park, Fivedock Barnwell Park Golf Club, Canada Bay Massey Park golf course, Concord
  bressington  
  Bressington Park, Mason Park, Homebush
 start to experience inundation from the tidal channel between them
 

Last century (when industrial greenhouse emissions were just getting going) there was already over 200 mm sea level rise. Half the CO2 from human generated emissions ever has been since 1985.

So sea level rise is an accelerating problem, and we need to act right now. Ringing the Council wet weather line won't cut it on this one. 

get updates