The serious flooding underway across Queensland provides a timely reminder that flooding has become an annual event – floods will happen somewhere in Queensland every year.
Queensland has jumped to the front in terms of economic cost of natural disasters in Australia, averaging $11 billion per year between 2007 and 2017.
This equates to 60% of the national cost over this period. Flood events account for 66% of this cost. Add to this the further massive flooding since then, such as in Townsville in 2019, and we can expect this trend to continue to get worse.
Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) President, Ian Dinham, said that the Queensland Reconstruction Authority has done a fantastic job getting things done since the 2011 floods but continuing financial support and stewardship are crucial if we are to ever get on top of flood risk.
“Continued financial support is needed for Councils to roll out catchment resilience planning and flood risk management plans beyond the Brisbane River catchments and see them completed state wide”, Mr Dinham said.
FMA Queensland Director, William Prentice, said there needs to be an urgency on finalising the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommendations and providing continued support for local governments to implement risk-based planning schemes.
“With COVID-19 taking up most of our attention in the last year, it would be easy to let floodplain management fall off the radar but, whether we like it or not, the reality is that flooding is happening all across Queensland year after year”, Mr Prentice said.
Floodplain Management Australia brings together experts from across Australia and overseas to help build a more flood resilient nation. Members include over 170 councils, catchment management authorities, agencies, businesses, and professionals involved in urban and rural flood risk management.