Analysis of damage to buildings following the 2010–11 Eastern Australia floods

TitleAnalysis of damage to buildings following the 2010–11 Eastern Australia floods
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMason, MS, Phillips, E, Okada, T, O’Brien, J
Date Published12/2012
InstitutionNational Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
CityGold Coast
ISBN Number978-1-921609-71-8
KeywordsBrisbane, construction, design, estimate, flood risk assessment, Grantham, Ipswich, modelling, occupant displacement model, planning, predictive modelling, Qld, Queensland, rapid assessment, synthesis and integrative research, vulnerability curves

This research analyses the extent of damage to buildings in Brisbane, Ipswich and Grantham during the recent Eastern Australia flooding and explore the role planning and design/construction regulations played in these failures. It highlights weaknesses in the current systems and propose effective solutions to mitigate future damage and financial loss under current or future climates.

2010 and early 2011 saw major flooding throughout much of Eastern Australia. Queensland and Victoria were particularly hard hit, with insured losses in these states reaching $2.5 billion and many thousands of homes inundated. The Queensland cities of Brisbane and Ipswich were the worst affected; around two-thirds of all inundated property/buildings were in these two areas. Other local government areas to record high levels of inundation were Central Highlands and Rockhampton Regional Councils in Queensland, and Buloke, Campaspe, Central Gold Fields and Loddon in Victoria. Flash flooding was a problem in a number of Victorian councils, but the Lockyer Valley west of Ipswich suffered the most extensive damage with 19 lives lost and more than 100 homes completely destroyed. In all more than 28,000 properties  were inundated in Queensland and around 2,500 buildings affected in Victoria. Of the residential properties affected in Brisbane, around 90% were in areas developed prior to the introduction of floodplain development controls, with many also suffering inundation during the 1974 floods.

The project developed a predictive model for estimating flood loss and occupant displacement. This model can now be used for flood risk assessments or rapid assessment of impacts following a flood event.