Flood Risk Forum Meets

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A floodplain management forum being held in the state’s north today will be told current modelling is inadequate for Australian conditions.

Environmental consultant Steven Molino says about 200-thousand Australian properties are affected by one-in-100-year flooding.

But he says while that level is used by many local councils for planning purposes, it was developed overseas.

Mr Molino says Australian conditions are far more variable.

“In Europe their floods are four or five times the average flows in their rivers, in the US it’s about 10 times, but in Australia our floods are hundreds of times the average flow,” he said.

“Which means that we can go for long periods seeing very little water in our rivers and feeling that we’ve built a long way from areas that could flood and then we get a very large flood, the likes of which hasn’t been recorded in the last 200 years.

“To make matters worse, there is no provision in our building code to ensure that houses that can flood are built in such a way that they’re flood-resistant.

“In fact we’ve been going exactly the opposite way, in the last 40 years we’ve been building houses with materials and designs which are more susceptible to flooding,” Mr Molino said.

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