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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones


    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010


    A new Queensland Government and LGAQ study is encouraging Queensland councils to move away from 1 in 100 year flood planning and focus more on likely future increases in rainfall intensity brought about by climate change.

    Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones today released the joint Inland Flood Study at LGAQ’s annual environment conference on the Gold Coast.

    Ms Jones said the Inland Flooding Study recommended a new formula for councils when factoring flood risk into their planning decisions.

    “Flooding cost state and local governments more than $200 million in damage to infrastructure following heavy rain across North West Queensland and in Mackay in 2009,” Ms Jones said.

    “That was followed by extensive flooding in March this year in South West Queensland and more heavy rains fell in October in the South East.

    “These weather events are a reminder of why we need to ensure councils have the information and support they need to better plan for these risks.

    “Using Gayndah as a case study, we’ve provided a benchmark to assess increased flood risk together with examples of how local governments can better deal with that risk.”

    LGAQ President Cr Paul Bell said the study demonstrated the value of a collaborative approach between the state government and local councils.

    “This study addressed an intractable issue and produced a practical result of immense benefit to all involved in dealing with the implications of climate change in planning,” Cr Bell said.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said land use planning was important for all Queensland communities.

    “The latest climate science will help inform the way we deal with potential impacts in local planning schemes,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The location and design of new development is a key issue and we need flexible policy options that recognise a range of pathways for dealing with flood risks.

    “This study recognises that there are several ways local governments can consider these issues in their planning schemes.”

    Ms Jones said the Bligh Government is committed to working with councils to plan for extreme flooding events to ensure a sustainable future for Queensland communities.

    “The Gayndah study shows that planning for the old 1 in 100 year flood event is not sufficient to protect inland areas from inundation in the future,” she said.

    “Instead we’re recommending that local governments adopt a climate change factor for increased rainfall intensity of 5 per cent per degree of global warming and incorporate this into local flood studies and planning schemes.

    “This will increase the amount of land considered flood prone over time and enable councils to make informed decisions and provide better advice to residents.

    “This is the first time definitive advice on how to plan for more intense flooding under climate change has been provided in Queensland.”

    The Inland Flood Study project is a collaboration with local government, scientists and flood specialists from leading organisations including the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, the Walker Institute for Climate System Research and the University of Queensland.

    Officers from the Department of Environment and Resource Management and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning will now work with local Councils on key findings resulting from the study.

    CONTACT: 3239 0824