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The global concern about human-induced climatic change and its potential effect on sea-level has dominated the debate on coastal vulnerability, particularly since a common assessment methodology was developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1991. There have been numerous attempts to use or adapt this methodology but the focus has remained on sea-level rise as the single most important issue for coastal vulnerability. This paper presents a revised and more holistic coastal vulnerability assessment methodology which incorporates spatial and temporal scales relevant to the predicted impacts of climatic change and current human-induced hazards. Three studies in contrasting coastal environments of South Australia demonstrate that there are significant regional variations in sea-level response, human-induced hazards and local planning issues and that these may present a greater immediate threat than the possibility of sea-level rise.