The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Flood management is not mostly about grand engineering schemes > Comments

Flood management is not mostly about grand engineering schemes : Comments

By Chas Keys, published 12/2/2013

We need to stop trying to 'flood-proof' Queensland: it simply can't be done.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
A most comprehensive and thoughtfull post containing a raft of eminently sensible suggestions and or approaches in the future.

I could not agree more that we need to develop 'with' the nature of the environment and not attempt exclusively the 'engineering solutions' that our hubris tends to lead us.

When Chas opines that "because of the lack of flood studies, information has not been gathered to allow councils to advise people of the risks they take" I beg to differ.

Most recently Queenslanders were advised that 'when we do get rain it will never fill our dams' and many many similar announcements headlined throughout most mainstream media and the ABC.

This 'advice', paid for, promoted and advocated by the Federal and State government, would appear to have been the result of reading tea leaves as opposed to methods you are suggesting. What a pitty the $$$$ spent on this 'advice' were not used to undertake the studies and education as you suggest.

Perhaps a refund would be in order? Or at the very least a redirection of future funding away from the current 'tea leaf' method to your good self and Lloyd Hamilton for example.

A good article.
Posted by Prompete, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 7:16:45 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"Most recently Queenslanders were advised that 'when we do get rain it will never fill our dams' and many many similar announcements headlined throughout most mainstream media and the ABC."

I must have missed that memo. Where is that quote? Is it actually aimed specifically at Queenslanders?
Posted by Bugsy, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 7:32:08 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
One of the most dangerous things that local government can do is to attempt to develop local planning guidelines concerning flooding. Experience in my state has been that various developers, real estate organisations and property owners will whinge loudly in the local press, harass the councillors and commence litigation.

Recent examples regarding predicted rises in sea level have led to litigation up and down the NSW coast in places such as Lake Macquarie and Byron Bay.

I said dangerous, in the sense that the danger is that the council will be bled dry of funds paying lawyers and through distraction from its community focus as its efforts are dominated by personal and private interests.

The consequence is that the knowledge and efforts of planners will become thwarted at every turn.

One only needs to study the flood images of Brisbane 2011 and compare with air photos of the same areas taken several decades prior, showing previous floods. Development has clearly been focussed on the land which is close to the river and/or the city, despite flood risks.

To a large extent, flooding is the result of private risk-taking, including the risks involved with not insuring property. By all means, we should offer those affected a lifeboat during the crisis, but it is folly for the many to support the risk-taking lifestyles of the few once the cleanup is over.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 8:01:56 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Where have you been Bugsy, we had this advice hammered into us, from the best scientists money could buy, to support Julia's carbon tax.

The worst thing was that lefty governments then believed their own propaganda, & built all these white elephant desalination plants, which so far have produced nothing but rust. Fortunately the story was just poor propaganda, or we'd all be very thirsty waiting for some desalinated water.

Pity so many had to be flooded, when the rain fell.

It would be cheaper now to move Brisbane to higher ground, [say behind Mackay], than flood proof what is now built.

Yes it is a bit late for engineering answers. Levees could work, if we had a greenfield site in Brisbane, & do work when they enclose a town, rather than a river. You have to make the town an island in the river, rather than keep the river within it's banks.

I agree this must be the last rescue mission. In future those who stay, buy into, or rent in these areas must do so, taking full responsibility for that decision. Low cost housing will probably come with high insurance premiums. The decision to live in flood prone areas must be made by the resident, & the cost of that decision be borne fully by them.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:10:03 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Surprisingly, Mr Keys does not mention inappropriate policies and their contribution to exacerbating the effects of flooding. For example, Federal government policy is to fund repair or replacement of public infrastructure damaged by flood. Laudable. A condition of such funding is that work done is to restore what was there before. A bridge destroyed by flood can be rebuilt to the same standard at the same location as before virtually ensuring that it is damaged or destroyed again when flooded again.

Public policy should require that Federal and State funding be provided only if steps are taken to ensure improved protection against future damage. This has yet to occur. After the 2011 floods in Bundaberg a once in 50 years event public infrastructure was restored to exactly the way it was before the flood.

Two years later, the Burnett river rose an unprecedented 9.6 metres, flowing through the city at speeds up to 40 knots and carrying restored infrastructure, houses, boats and a lot more before it. It remains to be seen if these lost assets will be restored exactly as they were to be destroyed by the next flood event which, thanks to global warming, could be more severe and will occur in far less than 50 years from now.

In the USA there is a belief that right-wing politics trumps the laws of physics. That view is apparently held by some Governments in Australia who have in the past and continue to give building permission in coastal areas far too close to the present high water mark or at locations which are prone to flooding. Neither the authorities or building owners recognize that because of global warming sea level is rising and severe climate events are becoming increasingly severe and much more common.

The initial risk from sea level rise is not inundation, it is coastal erosion undermining building foundations, causing instability and eventual collapse. One wonders how long it will be before government adopts sensible policies and responds sensibly to the realization that the effects of global warming are already dangerous and irreversible
Posted by Agnostic of Mittagong, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:19:27 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Agree with agnostic. Simply put, doing nothing is not an option!
The author knows all of the reasons it can't be done.
All while ignoring the all too often, extremely tragic consequences, of doing nothing in a climate changed future.
The easiest thing is to relocate people to higher ground!
Progressively and over time; all while entirely ruling out further development on coastal and other flood plains.
Other than that, we could adopt the ideas of Peter Andrews, who demonstrated with working examples, how to moderate upland flows, which incidentally is where all flood events have their birth.
He was just one man working alone, with a tractor and a few hand tools at his disposal, plus quite ordinary materials, logs, rocks and demolition material?
He working entirely alone and endlessly vilified by so-called conservationists, and other ignoramuses, forced millions of tons of water into a previously dry and salinated farmland. Just with a few strategically placed dams/weirs.
The outcome!
Restored and vastly extended environmental flows.
The salt table forced far lower, by placing an envelope of fresh over it. And the land made vastly more fertile than at any time since white settlement?
Too easy!
And work for the dole schemes, would simply reroute already committed govt money for another vastly more productive purpose.
And yes, we could and should dam every upland tributary over time.
But particularly wherever we find an eroded gully.
Dams will place bodies of still inert water, in said gullies.
This is the simplest easiest way of eliminating destructive erosion, and limiting the build up of alluvium in our streams and rivers, or preventing trillions of tons of the stuff, flowing out to sea, with every major flood event, where it kills the coral and sea-grass, and indeed, all who depend on it.
Look, sea grass alone, produces three times as much oxygen as all the trees on planet earth!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 12:12:36 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy