The 2008 Floods in Queensland: A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience, and Adaptive Capacity

Media type: 
Armando Apan
University of Southern Queensland


A warmer climate, with its increased climate variability, will increase the risk of floods. In Australia, this increased risk of floods could cause more severe damage to people, property, and the environment. Consequently, adaptation measures to flooding are needed to reduce the damage potential. Broadly, this study aims to enhance understanding of the vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of people and communities to flooding, and to assess the extent to which flood mitigation measures have been implemented by institutions.

The specific objectives are a) to understand how societies that are regularly flooded operate and the characteristics of their resilience or non-resilience; b) to understand the characteristics of communities that are ‘on the edge’, where flooding might push them into non-viability, c) to understand the extent to which flood mitigation measures (including State Planning Policy 1/03) have been applied to reduce the vulnerability to flood events, and to d) identify the characteristics of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity to flooding of households, businesses and institutions. Focusing on two flood events (Mackay floods in 2008 and Charleville floods in 2008), this study will conduct intensive literature review, and will employ questionnaire surveys, focus groups, and extensive interviews, to gather relevant data needed for interpretation and synthesis. The outcomes of this study will provide information, knowledge and insights on how various stakeholders can better respond and adapt to flood events.

Please cite as:

Apan, A, Keogh, DU, King, D, Thomas, M, Mushtaq, S & Baddiley, P 2010, The 2008 floods in Queensland: A case study of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 171 pp. 

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