Councils in the three valleys have worked together to create a floodplain management plan.
Councils in the three valleys have worked together to create a floodplain management plan. Contributed

Plan sets national benchmark for flood-prone areas

STATE and local governments in SEQ have teamed up to set a national benchmark for floodplain management.

The Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan and a flood-resilient building guide for homes was developed in partnership with four local councils, including Ipswich City Council.

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,” he 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.”

The $2.4 million Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan project was jointly funded by the State Government and stakeholder councils, with the Federal Government providing $375,000 through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.

Local governments will 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,” she said.

"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.”

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.”

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Strategic Plan said recent disasters have forced the hand in the creation of the plan.

"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.

"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.

"Seventeen of those actions have state-wide application to support the flood resilience of all Queensland communities now and into the future.”

"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

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,” Mr Dick said.