The 2008 floods in Queensland: A case study of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity

TitleThe 2008 floods in Queensland: A case study of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity
Publication TypeReport

Project Page   Final Report

Year of Publication2010
AuthorsApan, A, Keogh, DU, King, D, Thomas, M, Mushtaq, S, Baddiley, P
InstitutionNational Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
CityGold Coast
ISBN Number978-1-921609-18-3
Keywordsadaptation strategies, Charleville, Mackay, Qld, Queensland, respond and adjust

Climate change is a major and urgent issue of global significance. In Australia, its effects are already being experienced in the form of higher temperatures and more frequent extreme events. A warmer climate will increase the risk of floods, while continued and frequent severe flooding will be “virtually certain” during the twenty-first century. This could cause more severe damage to people, property, and the environment in Australia where flooding is already the nation’s costliest form of natural disaster. Losses from floods are estimated at over $300 million a year. 

Adaptation strategies are needed for floods at local and regional scales which consider the impacts on both individuals and societies. To this end, a sound understanding is needed of not only an area’s bio-physical and socio-demographic attributes, but of a community’s vulnerability, adaptive capacity and resiliency. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of flood mitigation measures and also gain insights into how communities may cope with repeated and more frequent events and their ability to cope and endure. 

This report presents an historical case study of the 2008 floods in Charleville and Mackay. These towns were considered representative of a small inland outback town and a large coastal city (respectively), and both towns have significant areas situated on highly vulnerable flood plains.

Refereed DesignationRefereed