Abstract: The Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia and one the fastest developing regions in this country. It is also, however, highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and recent extreme weather events have given an indication of the increasing risk to both people and the built environment. The seriousness of these issues has been detailed in a series of national and international assessments of risk and vulnerability. Over the last decade, the first tentative steps had been taken to build climate change adaptation into the relevant plans and policies at all three levels of government (local, state and national). However, since early 2012 all governments have been cutting back their investments in adaptation. This paper explores the paradox of a declining response in the face of an increasing risk. It considers how recent changes made by the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC), the Queensland government and the Australian government have manifested themselves in the fate of local, state and national policies. The paper concludes with some questions about why this paradox may have arisen.