The summary document is designed to help you get up to speed with the changes that are proposed, and we’d like your feedback on some of the key issues that we’ll be capturing in our submission. We’re planning to share a draft of our submission with members for feedback in mid-January 2023. And if you have any feedback you’d like to share with our team, please get in touch with our Policy and Advocacy Manager, Grace Hall.
The key changes that the Bill proposes are:
- Introducing new requirements around “natural hazard information”, including a new purpose to “ensure that [LIMs] contain understandable information” about natural hazards and impacts of climate change that exacerbate natural hazards; requirements around the information that must be provided on a LIM; and requirements around how that information is provided.
- Creates a new requirement for regional councils to provide territorial authorities with natural hazard information.
- Includes a new provision that protects territorial authorities and regional councils against civil or criminal proceedings when providing natural hazard risk information in good faith.
While we broadly support the need for better communication of information about natural hazard risks and the impacts of climate change, we have a number of concerns with the proposed changes including:
- Potential for councils to now be required to explain the nature of hazards or impacts rather than just identify them (which is the current requirement) and undertake more onerous assessments of natural hazard information. This is likely to have cost and resourcing implications for councils.
- The lack of clarity around the extent to which local authorities will be consulted in the making of regulations that prescribe the form in which information needs to be presented on LIMs. We think there should be an explicit requirement to consult with councils.
- The need for central government to support councils with additional costs associated with updating their LIM processes and making assessments about information.
- While we support the protection for councils against liability where natural hazard risk information is provided in good faith, we think this protection could be extended to cover the other information councils provide on LIMs.