The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with local governments in south east Queensland to set a national benchmark for floodplain management with the release of the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan and a flood resilient building guide for homes.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Strategic Plan, which was developed in partnership with the four local councils in the Brisbane River floodplain and Seqwater, would help keep south east Queenslanders safe.
“The Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan sets a new standard for whole-of-catchment floodplain management and provides a roadmap for the development of floodplain management plans across Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“The prolonged and unprecedented flooding that devastated much of North and North West Queensland in the first three months of this year is a timely reminder that terrible floods can strike almost anywhere at any time and this plan will guide future investment to build our resilience and reduce the impact and cost of floods.
“The Strategic Plan identifies 52 actions that guide how the Queensland and local governments will work together to better manage flood risk to strengthen the resilience of our communities, our economy, our infrastructure and our environment.
“17 of those actions have state-wide application to support the flood resilience of all Queensland communities now and into the future.
“In developing this plan, we have also delivered the Flood Resilient Building Guidance for Queensland Homes – a partnership between builders, architects, the insurance industry and local councils to help communities build more resilient homes to withstand future floods.
“Queensland is the most flood prone state in Australia, and the new Guide identifies simple measures such as wet-proofing the lower level of a home, which can significantly reduce clean up and recovery efforts following floods,” he said.
“We know that as families assess recent flood damage, they are looking for ways to build back better to withstand future floods and this guide provides innovative, practical and affordable solutions to help make that happen.”
“Queensland home owners are encouraged to talk to a licensed builder or architect about the guide and how they can incorporate flood resilience strategies into their homes to reduce the cost and impact of future floods.”
Mr Dick said the Strategic Plan and associated building guide were yet another example of different levels of government and industry working together to help make Queensland the most disaster resilient state in Australia.
“The Strategic Plan builds on the extensive work already undertaken since 2011 by Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council, Seqwater and the Queensland Government to better manage flood risk in the region.
“The Plan allows all levels of government and their agencies to put lessons from the devastating 2010/11 floods into action and enables Queensland communities to use them to build their flood resilience for the future,” Minister Dick said.
Local governments will now use the Strategic Plan to inform local floodplain management plans to apply regionally consistent approaches to increase flood resilience in their communities.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan said more than just data is critical to successfully planning for a prosperous and resilient future.
“Past disaster events have shown the human and social costs of flooding can be just as significant as the more tangible costs of building and infrastructure damage.
“Finding ways to support people to be more resilient in their home is another step forward to strengthening our community’s resilience and this new guide will do just that,” she said.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the Plan was the next phase of the long-term coordinated strategy to manage risk in the Brisbane River Floodplain.
“Significant work has been done by Somerset Council since 2011 to make our communities safer and more resilient in terms of disaster preparedness,” Cr Lehmann said.
“The Plan will now be utilised to inform amendments to Council’s Planning Scheme and long-term infrastructure requirements and its associated guide is important in providing individuals with design and building advice to help minimise future flood damage.”
Ipswich City Council CEO David Farmer said the regional approach provided a clearer understanding of how governments can work together to ensure that decisions made in one part of the floodplain do not negatively impact other parts of our community and how learnings can be converted into practical tips for future resilience.
“Ipswich City Council is completing a local flood study which encompasses catchment areas not included in the Brisbane River Study that will also help inform the city’s new Planning Scheme,” Mr Farmer said.
“In addition, potential structural mitigation options identified in the Plan such as a flood levee for Goodna CBD and a flood gate for the Ipswich CBD will now undergo further feasibility testing as part of the development of a local floodplain management plan for the City of Ipswich.
“The new building guide will provide owners of new and existing homes with real options for reducing the impact of future floods to their homes and families,” he said
The $2.4 million Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan project was jointly funded by the Queensland Government and stakeholder councils, with the Australian Government providing $375,000 through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
The Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan is available at www.qra.qld.gov.au/BRCFS and the Flood Resilient Building Guidance for Queensland Homes is available at https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/resilient-homes