Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study most comprehensive ever

17 May 2017

Queensland Government: The most detailed and comprehensive flood study ever undertaken in Australia will provide a greater understanding of the Brisbane River’s behaviour across four council areas in South East Queensland.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad said the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study incorporated 170 years of historical rainfall data and investigated 11,340 scenarios that influence flooding.

“This was an incredibly comprehensive process involving more than 50,000 computer simulations which has helped us produce Australia’s first ever whole of catchment flood study,” Ms Trad said.

“The Brisbane River catchment area spans more than 13,500 square kilometres with the floodplain downstream of Wivenhoe Dam spanning the four local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley.

“The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommended this study because there is currently no single flood model that councils can use that provided a common and consistent basis for land-use planning, disaster management and building community resilience.

“This study provides a comprehensive analysis of a range of potential flood events, which is a critical first step towards developing a strategy that will set out flood resilience options for the region.”

Brisbane City Council Mayor Graham Quirk said that a coordinated effort was important as the region has a long history of major floods recorded back as far as 1893.

“In the past the way we planned for flooding was divided by local government area but we know that floods have no respect for council boundaries,” Cr Quirk said.

“By focusing on the entire catchment, we are able to bring together councils and stakeholders across the Brisbane River floodplain, using comprehensive and consistent information to improve the safety of our communities.”

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said the study was all about working together to understand the potential for flooding across the region.

“This study has been a four year partnership between the Queensland Government, Ipswich City Council, Brisbane City Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council and Seqwater,” Cr Pisasale said.

“While councils are still the best source of information for detailed, localised flood information, the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study will support a more coordinated approach to managing floods across all levels of government in the future.”

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said that the Flood Study was critical for community preparedness.

“While the study will not prevent future flooding, it will work hand in hand with the study we have already commissioned of Lockyer Creek, to ensure communities across the catchment are as prepared and resilient as they can possibly be,” Cr Milligan said.

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said with the Somerset region containing Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams the study was very important to the region’s future.

“The Flood Study uses cutting-edge technology to model flooding downstream of Wivenhoe Dam including the Brisbane River and major waterways including Lockyer Creek, the Bremer River system and Oxley Creek,” Cr Lehmann said.

“It will enable us to work with the government and south east Queensland councils around us to coordinate planning, preparation and responses to flood events that may occur in the future.”

The flood models developed as a result of the study have been verified against the flood events that occurred in 1974, 2011 and 2013 and endorsed by an independent panel of experts.

Visit (external site) for more information about the Flood Study.




Source:   Queensland Government -


DP’s office: Anna Jabour 0429 890 942

Brisbane City Council: Nick Kennedy 0437 831 581

Ipswich City Council: Allan Roebuck 0419 500 807

Somerset Regional Council: Melanie Maeseele 0467 096 788

Lockyer Valley Regional Council: Rick Machin 0418 689 869

External Links: 

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