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Flood management plan wins national recognition

Brisbane River flooding at Goodna 13 January 2011. Image: Lyle Radford for Ipswich City Council.

A joint project involving several councils and a range of state agencies has won a Get Ready Queensland Resilient Australia Award for its work on Floodplain Management of the Brisbane River.

Several Ipswich City Council staff members worked on the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan, which was recognised for its efforts at better preparing local communities for natural disasters and emergencies.

The group was coordinated by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and included Brisbane City Council, Somerset Regional Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, along with Seqwater, Queensland Urban Utilities and other state agencies.

Minister for State Development, Cameron Dick, said it was important to acknowledge the work being carried out around the state by those involved in improving community safety.

“The Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan was recognised as an outstanding example of how locally-led, regionally-focused and state-supported resilience can achieve improvements for all parts of the community,” Mr Dick said.

Senior strategic planning officer at Ipswich City Council, Gareth Wilson, said the plan required communication and teamwork across local and state government.

“When you think about the water bodies that feed into the Brisbane River, the size of the area is quite substantial and it affects a huge amount of people in different communities,” Mr Wilson said.

“We had to consider all views from different councils and communities and look at how land use planning controls and building controls could help to limit flood risks.”

Mr Wilson said that the plan not only looked at the Brisbane River, but other catchments or tributaries that would be affected by flooding, including the Bremer River.

“It was a broader response beyond flood plain management because we considered what it would mean downstream and upstream and how the different parts of the catchment interact,” Mr Wilson said.

“The major learning for us was the level of sensitivity within the catchment.

“That means we need to be conscious of managing activities such as development, and understand how different factors in our planning can affect the risk of flooding.”

Now this important regional work is completed, Ipswich City Council is embarking on a comprehensive local plan to manage future floods.

The Ipswich Integrated Catchment Plan will be the most detailed and comprehensive study ever undertaken to make sure the community is ready, informed and resilient ahead of the next flood event.

During November, residents can have their say via council’s community engagement platform Shape Your Ipswich.

A team from Ipswich City Council worked with other councils and government agencies on the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan to reduce the risk and impact of floods.
(L-R): Hoy Sung Yau, Garath Wilson, Phil Smith, Matthew Pinder and Kaye Cavanagh

Read more:

>>> Residents needed to shape Ipswich’s plan for next big flood

>>> How ready are you for an emergency?

>>> Queensland floodplain management plan sets new national benchmark


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