Building community resilience – learning from the 2011 floods in Southeast Queensland, Australia

Hayes, John & Goonetilleke, Ashantha (2012) Building community resilience – learning from the 2011 floods in Southeast Queensland, Australia. In Kakimoto, Ryuji & Yamada, Fumihiko (Eds.) 8th Annual Conference of International Institute for Infrastructure, Renewal and Reconstruction : International Conference on Disaster Management (IIIRR 2012), Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan, pp. 51-60.

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The year 2010 was the wettest year on record for Queensland, Australia and the wettest year since 1974 for Southeast Queensland. The extremely heavy rain in early January 2011 fell on the catchments of heavily saturated Brisbane and Stanley Rivers systems resulting in significant runoff which rapidly produced a widespread and devastating flood event. The area of inundation was equivalent to the total land area of France and Germany combined. Over 200,000 people were affected leaving 35 people dead and 9 missing. The damage bill was estimated at over $1B and cost to the economy at over $10B with over 30,000 homes and 6,000 business flooded and 86 towns and regional centres affected.

The need to disburse disaster funding in a prompt manner to the affected population was paramount to facilitate individuals getting their lives back to some normality. However, the payout of insurance claims has proved to be a major area of community anger. The ongoing impasse in payment of insurance compensation is attributed to the nature and number of claims, confusing definition of flooding and the lack or accuracy of information needed to determine individually the properties affected and legitimacy of claims. Information was not readily available at the micro-level including, extent and type of inundation, flood heights at property level and cause of damage. Events during the aftermath highlighted widespread community misconceptions concerning the technical factors associated with the flood event and the impact of such on access to legitimate compensation and assistance. Individual and community wide concerns and frustration, anger and depression, have arisen resulting from delays in the timely settlement of insurance claims. Lessons learnt during the aftermath are presented in the context of their importance as a basis for inculcating communities impacted by the flood event with resilience for the future.

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ID Code: 53407
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: CD rom publication, paper A2-5
Keywords: flood, inundation, damage, insurance, Queensland, community resilience
ISBN: 9784990643409
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 30 Aug 2012 22:38
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 23:40

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