RISING sea levels threaten to damage homes worth up to $10 billion along Victoria's coast, flood the St Kilda foreshore and put key industries at risk by 2100, landmark Government research warns.
Homes in the local government areas of Kingston, Hobsons Bay, Greater Geelong, Wellington and Port Phillip are considered the most at risk without stronger action to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.
The report says that up to 45,000 Victorian homes - worth $10.3 billion - face inundation due to more extreme weather, particularly the combination of storm surges and rising sea levels.
A wide range of commercial buildings, roads and railway lines would also be affected.
The major report, to be released today, was prepared for the Federal Government and consists of new research from a number of prominent climate and coastal scientists.
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said the report highlighted the need to act on climate change.
''This report is the first continental-scale mapping of residential buildings at risk from climate change, and the worrying implications for coastal homes and infrastructure are there for all to see,'' she said.
Across Australia 247,600 individual buildings valued at $63 billion could be damaged or lost, while major infrastructure, including Sydney and Brisbane airports, are at risk of being flooded by increasingly damaging storms.
The results are based on a 1.1-metre sea level rise by 2100, which scientists predict could occur if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the present rate, coupled with a one-in-100-year storm.
Evidence presented to a UN climate conference in March found that by 2100 sea level rises could be between 75 and 190 centimetres higher than in 1990.
In Victoria, the City of Kingston - which includes bayside suburbs Chelsea and Aspendale - is most at risk, with up to 9000 homes affected.
Special mention is made of the Melbourne suburb of Altona - home to Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard - and the wider City of Hobsons Bay, which could lose more than 7500 homes. Up to 6599 households in Greater Geelong could also be flooded or damaged.
In the City of Port Phillip, which includes St Kilda and Middle Park, 3600 homes are in harm's way.
Evidence suggests that by 2100, severe storm surges associated with climate change would flood parts of the St Kilda foreshore, including Luna Park and Acland Street. Erosion caused by higher sea levels could mean St Kilda and Middle Park beaches would be lost.
President of the Australian Coastal Society, Professor Bruce Thom, said building codes and other programs to adapt to climate change must now be nationally co-ordinated to address the increasing threats.