Flood risk information a step closer

21 November 2012

From L to R: The Minister for Emergency
Management, the Hon Nicola Roxon, MP;
Minister for Resources and Energy,
the Hon Martin Ferguson, AM MP; and the
Member for Canberra, Ms Gai Brodtmann
MP at Geoscience Australia 19 November 2012

The Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Nicola Roxon, MP and the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson, AM MP have released results from Phase 1 of the National Flood Risk Information Project at Geoscience Australia.

The project will see the development of a flood information portal over four years (starting 2012) which will be hosted by Geoscience Australia and updated in November each year prior to summer.

“This Portal will be a valuable resource for helping communities better prepare for flood disasters, and was initiated by the Australian Government in response to the Natural Disaster Insurance Review,” Ms Roxon said at the launch.

“Easy access to flood risk information will give communities and planners a better understanding of their exposure to floods, as well as assist insurers in developing fair and reasonable policies,” Minister Ferguson said.

“We are working towards a Portal that will provide a single access point to all available flood maps and studies where users can assess whether they are in an area at risk of flooding,” he said.

The 2012 release features the updated Australian Flood Studies Database, which contains details on over 1300 existing flood studies and direct access to an increasing number of flood studies reports.

The release also included a pilot series of maps derived from satellite imagery, showing the observed extent of floods over the last six years for three key study areas: Condamine River, Queensland; Flinders and Norman Rivers, Queensland; and Goulburn and Loddon Rivers, Victoria.

These maps can be used to understand the frequency and extent of flooding across large regions, especially in areas where flood studies have not been undertaken.

“Using the Australian Government’s satellite imagery archive of over 30 years, we will be seeking to extend this capability across Australia for future releases, beginning with areas more susceptible to flood,” said Dr Adam Lewis who presented the imagery as part of the event.

During the project Geoscience Australia and Engineers Australia will also work to revise and publish the Australian Rainfall and Runoff guide. “The new guide will enable engineers to develop more accurate and detailed flood studies, and will enable them to consider the potential impact of climate induced changes to rainfall and river flow patterns,” Minister Ferguson said.

The project directly supports implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, which emphasises the importance of building community resilience to reducing the impact of natural disasters.

Minister’s media releases on the National Flood Risk Information Project:

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013