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Private Home Ownership Under Imminent Threat in Greater Sydney, parts of NSW and New Zealand


Private home ownership under imminent threat in Greater Sydney and parts of NSW, and New Zealand

Coming to an area near you soon, if we let it.

A month ago, I was listening to an interview on Reality Check Radio with Salima Padamsey from Coastal Rate Payers Union (NZ); Salima was speaking about managed retreat, uninsurable homes, services to coastal towns being cut off based on faulty climate change modelling. Managed retreat sounds somewhat nice and innocuous, it’s true meaning is the government can force you to leave your home, and they can then sell it.

As countries are in lockstep all around the world, I immediately looked at what Australian based organisations were saying about managed retreat. I found:

Uninsurable Homes

Report “1 in 25 homes uninsurable by 2030” by the Climate Council Australia outlines how they are compounding climate risks, such as bush fire, flooding, ocean rise, leading to homes being classified as uninsurable or justifying exorbitant insurance costs. For e.g whilst your property may be at low risk of bushfire and flooding, the compounding of the risks can take your property in to the medium risk threshold. Climate Council has a climate risk map of Australia, where you can see your postcode and the risks. Link at bottom of article.

The Climate Council’s definition of high risk is repairs of 1 percent of property value every year to address climate change effects on your property. That is if you have a $1,000,000 property and it’s assessed that you need to spend $10,000 a year on your property for anything related (arbitrarily) to climate change, your house is in the uninsurable category.

According to the Climate Council of Australia, if they assess you need to spend 0.2 percent to 1 percent a year on climate change property repairs you are in the medium risk category. That is, on a $1,000,000 property, assessed repairs equal to $2,000 per year will lead to higher insurance premiums.

Managed retreat and natural asset management are discussed as solutions.

Managed Retreat

On the 23rd of February 2024 NSW government released the Disaster Mitigation Plan 2024-2026. This plan references widespread Managed Retreat. The Managed Retreat policy will be released mid 2025. This plan was released through the NSW Reconstruction Authority (formed Dec 2022). The Disaster Mitigation Plan references the Local Government Areas most at risk of climate change. Central Coast is number 1 on the list. You can see the list on page 62 of the plan. Page 63 outlines the LGA’s at most risk by 2060.

NSW Reconstruction Authority Act 2022

Under the Act the Reconstruction Authority has the legal authority to direct Council and to form partnerships with global corporations. They oversee disaster prevention, preparedness and adaption as well as recovery and reconstruction. Specifically, they can take your home (compulsory acquisition), do what they want with your home, and then sell your home.

Who is involved?

“Independent” think tank, The Committee for Sydney is instrumental in these plans. In 2023 they released a report in partnership with insurance conglomerate IAG and Resilient Sydney titled “Defending Sydney: Adaptive planning for today’s flooding and tomorrow’s climate risks”.

Within the report they discuss the need for managed retreat, as well as private infrastructure companies determining where they will deliver services to. In other words, private corporations can determine if your town will be serviced. They state that the climate modelling will be rolled out through city plans. Your “city” will be assessed (most likely suburb based) for climate risks. They also discuss the need to have climate risks outlined in a house certificate, the outcome being when you try to sell your property you will have trouble.

Committee for Sydney is a Public, Private, Partnership (PPP) monstrosity. Partners include Amazon, the big 4 Consultancy Firms, Banks, energy companies etc. They then sprinkle the local governments and NGO’s through the partnership model, so it looks like it’s a true partnership. However, you’d need to be very naïve to not understand that the wealthiest corporate entities in the world would be running the show.

In 2018 Committee for Sydney released their report, “The Sandstone Mega-Region, uniting Newcastle – the Central Coast – Sydney – Wollongong”. This report called for a 6 city region prior to NSW government releasing their 6 City plan 4 years later in 2022. In the report they list the think tank that worked on their report. Listed first is a body called The Business of Cities. This organisation has a partnership with the World Economic Forum (1000 largest corporations) in the world.

Resilient Sydney is a Rockefeller funded collaboration. In 2013 Rockefeller unleashed its 100 Resilient Cities initiative, unfortunately Sydney and Melbourne were chosen. One partner of Resilient Cities is the World Economic Forum.

How are they going to do it?

The Government plan references the need for community engagement. Committee for Sydney references Disaster Resilience Community Mapping. Expect soon to have Disaster Planning workshops in your town. In this workshop there will be methods used (Delphi method) to get the people present to agree to a certain outcome. From there, the government will use these constructed outcomes to justify managed retreat, greater “shared” costs for disaster infrastructure etc.

Where will people be moved to?

In the plans they discuss the importance of moving whole streets or towns together under the justification of keeping communities together. This is a disingenuous ploy to move a large amount of people at the same time in to newly created “Resilient” Smart, Disaster ready housing estates.

To sum up we are looking at: unaffordable housing insurance, inability to get housing insurance, housing certificates with warnings on your property, compulsory acquisition of your home, greater costs for disaster mitigation policies, private infrastructure corporations determining if they will service your street/ town, Council determining whether they will service the street/ town etc.

Natural Asset Management will be the method through which they will try to convince the public that losing their homes, and being moved into urban stack and pack heat island “mixed use housing” with a shared small park is equitable. Whilst private corporations are handed over the land your house was on. The government will sell the line that corporations can own or invest in the land to rewild and to look after nature. The corporations will then make even more money through “eco system” services and reap the profits, but because Big Corp is “saving the climate” people won’t complain.

This is all dependent on climate change modelling, which may or may not occur.

“Rockefeller City Resilience Framework” definition of Resilience states “In the context of cities, resilience has helped to bridge the gap between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

It moves away from traditional disaster risk management, which is founded on risk assessments that relate to specific hazards. Instead, it accepts the possibility that a wide range of disruptive events – both stresses and shocks – may occur but are not necessarily predictable.

Best described as: “Make it up as you go along”.

To finish with a quote outlining how they are going to use behavioural management techniques to TRY to get us to see this as exciting rather than the asset swindle and centralised power grab that it actually is:

Globally, there is an emerging roadmap for generating community acceptance of planned relocation as part of building a city’s climate resilience. The limited experience of cities that have taken on planned relocation suggests that an effective process depends on critical actions that move the community from denial and anger to acceptance. It is especially important to reframe relocation as not simply a loss of what was but as part of a larger and inspiring vision for what can be for the city’s future.

— Peter Plastrik & John Cleveland, Innovation Network for Communities

The people of NSW are going to need to get coordinated to get the word out and tackle this on a local level. If you’re not in NSW look at your State plans, the disaster mitigation language will be in there.

Kate Mason is a member of Community Voice Australia (CVA). CVA is working on a project to inform the public regarding the climate change modelling and effect on private home ownership or ability to choose where to rent. To stay connected sign up at If you want to assist email

For additional information Kate Mason has articles on Substack covering the climate mitigation, managed retreat plans.


Kate Mason Interviews on Managed Retreat:

Climate Council Australia:

The Climate Council’s Climate Risk Map of Australia is an interactive map of climate vulnerable places in Australia. Enter your suburb or postcode in the search bar in the top right corner of the map below to understand risks in your area. Climate change impact analysis is supplied by Climate Valuation. Visit for more information. Important … Continue readingClimate Risk Map of Australia


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