BCC 2022 Flood Investigation

BCC has initiated a reasonably broad-scope investigation into the 2022 floods, to be led by Mr Paul de Jersey. The following text is copied from the Terms of Reference circulated to councillors by Mr de Jersey on Friday, 18 March.

 

Review into the February 2022 Brisbane Floods ‐ Terms of reference

18 March 2022

Context

1. The City of Brisbane has throughout its history been the subject of intense seasonal weather events. It is not uncommon for Brisbane to receive several weather warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) throughout summer months. Of relevance, was the flooding event of 2011 which resulted in the findings of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry being released in March 2012 (QFCI Report).

2. As a result of the 2011 flooding event Brisbane City Council (Council) established a board in late January 2011 and requested a report be produced by the middle of May 2011 (Brisbane Flood Report).

3. In response to the recent weather event described below, Council seeks to have an independent review undertaken to ensure that Council continues to improve its ability to protect lives and property from similar natural disasters in Brisbane in the future.


The Weather Event

4. Between 24 and 28 February 2022, South‐East Queensland and northern New South Wales experienced an unprecedented weather event (Weather Event).

5. The Weather Event was the largest rainfall event (for that period) to have occurred over the Brisbane catchment with 792.8mm falling 24 February 2022 to 9.00am 28 February 2022. To put this in perspective, this exceeded the 1974 rainfall record of 655.8 and represents about 80 per cent of Brisbane’s yearly average rainfall falling in this five‐day period.

6. The Brisbane River peaked Monday, 28 February at 3.85m (AHD city gauge) at 9.00am. whilst this is less than the 4.46m AHD recorded in 2011, the widespread intense rainfall also caused significant creek and overland flow flooding.

Appointment and Scope

7. On 1 March 2022 the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner announced that former Governor and former Chief Justice of Queensland the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC CVO QC would undertake an independent and comprehensive review with respect of the following matters:
(a) the extent to which Council has implemented the relevant recommendations from the
QFCI Report and the Brisbane Flood Report, as they related to the City of Brisbane, prior
to the Weather Event;

(b) the effectiveness of measures recommended by the QFCI Report, and the Brisbane Flood
Report taken by Council to improve the protection for flood prone properties from
inundation with a particular focus on backflow devices and the Flood Resilient Homes
Program;

(c) the effectiveness of Council’s disaster management framework in responding to the
Weather Event having regard to the combined means of other relevant entities, with a
focus on:
i. Council’s disaster management organisational structures and policies;
ii. the establishment of Council’s evacuation centres;
iii. the adequacy of public information provided by Council on flood risk for individual
properties;
iv. the coordination with other government agencies, communications and utility providers; and
v. community response, including the organisation and management of community volunteers.

(d) the adequacy of the Council’s public warnings and advice, having regard to:
i. the requirements and responsibilities of the other relevant entities, such as the State Government, Commonwealth Government and BOM;
ii. the reliability and timeliness of the information provided to Council by other relevant entities;
iii. the capability of external systems relied upon by Council;

(e) the effectiveness of changes made to the Planning Regulations 2017 in mitigating loss and damage in respect of flood prone areas post 2011;

(f) the resilience of riverine and waterways infrastructure which has been upgraded or constructed following the 2011 flood event (a list of relevant infrastructure is provided in Attachment ‘A’).

Submissions

8. Mr de Jersey will be calling for submissions from all Councillors, Council, and all others at Mr de Jersey's discretion, in respect of the matters subject of the review, with submissions to be provided to Mr de Jersey by close of business 8 April 2022

Report

9. Mr de Jersey is required to produce a report addressing the above matters including any recommendations arising from the terms of reference which he considers as reasonable to improve the City's preparation and planning for any such future weather event.

10. The report is to be provided to the Lord Mayor on or before 1 July 2022. However, should Mr de Jersey require any further information on a particular matter that cannot be addressed in the above timeframe, this request should be made through the report and be addressed after the provision of the material. This timing will enable any recommendations to be addressed prior to the next summer’s wet season.

11. The report will be made public following its delivery to the Lord Mayor.