Victorian South East Council’s Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) Asset Vulnerability Study
Disclosure Liability Advice.
Local Governments are on the front line of climate change impacts. Their assets are increasingly exposed in a climate changed future. If they know this, then by law, they ought to know that private assets are similarly exposed. How should they disclose this risk?
Local Governments across Australia are assessing the increasing vulnerability of their assets (roads, infrastructure, ovals, public buildings, etc) in a climate changed future.
If local governments know that their own assets are at risk, then they “ought” to know that some private assets might be at risk. In this way, there may be a liability to disclose these risks. The situation is complicated by the fact that there are also laws that limit what councils can disclose in case the disclosure has a material impact in the value of an asset. There are various examples of public outrage due to local government disclosures which has resulted in risk aversion about disclosure, and even councils steering away from investing in knowledge for fear that if they know they have a duty to disclose.
The objective of this project is to consider two specific questions, and any related questions, and provide advice so that local government can better understand their liability in relation to disclosure of risk associated with private property asset exposure and vulnerability considering the impact of climate change.
Collaboration with SECCCA
In kind contribution from Municipal Association of Victoria
Measures of Success:
Clarity and confidence for Victorian Local Governments in terms of assessing vulnerability of private assets and disclosure relating to climate change risks.