By Hedley Thomas, The Australian
A SECRET report by scientific and engineering experts warned of significantly greater risks of vast destruction from Brisbane River flooding – and raised grave concerns with the Queensland government and the city’s council a decade ago.
But the recommendations in the report for radical changes in planning strategy, emergency plans and transparency about the true flood levels for Brisbane were rejected and the report was covered up.
The comprehensive 1999 Brisbane River Flood Study made alarming findings about predicted devastation to tens of thousands of flood-prone properties, which were given the green light for residential development since the 1974 flood. The engineers and hydrologists involved in the study warned that the next major flood in Brisbane would be between 1m and 2m higher than anticipated by the Brisbane town plan.
The study highlighted how the council had permitted the development of thousands of properties whose owners were led to believe they would be out of harm’s way in a flood on the scale of 1974.
The study was leaked to this reporter in June 2003 by a high-level public servant, who revealed that the local and state government at the time were less concerned with flood risks and more interested in seeing property development in low-lying areas.
“The flood immunity of properties is less than previously assessed. The average flood damages associated with flooding will be significantly higher. There are potential legal implications for council by allowing development to occur in higher-risk areas. As a minimum, developers and residents may need to be advised of the actual flood risk on their property,” the study says. “All elements of the study have been subjected to independent peer review because the key findings have significant implications for council.
“The major finding of this study is that the calculated one-in-100-year design flood flow . . . is about 1m to 2m higher than the current development control in the Brisbane River corridor. The simple option of saying that the current development control level represents the one-in-100-year flood level is not valid.”
Full story here
h/t to WUWT reader “Baa humbug”