Queensland is currently experiencing one of the wettest summers
on record which, at the time of writing, shows no sign of relenting
as the Bureau of Meteorology continues to issue flood warnings for
heavy rain and flash flooding over much of northern and eastern
It is timely that the State government have sought to update
State Planning Policy 1/03: Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of
Flood, Bushfire and Landslide (the policy) and provide
practical guidance to Local Governments on how to incorporate the
impacts of climate change in planning policies.
Inland Flooding Study
The State Office of Climate Change and Department of
Infrastructure and Planning have partnered with the Local
Government Association of Queensland on the Inland Flooding Study
to improve Queensland's resilience to extreme flood events due
to climate change.
The study provides Queensland's local governments with a
recommended climate change factor for increased rainfall intensity
for incorporation into their flood studies. It recommends that
local governments adopt a climate change factor for increased
rainfall intensity of 5 per cent per degree of global warming and
incorporate this into local flood studies and planning schemes.
This 5 per cent increase in rainfall intensity per degree of
global warming can be incorporated into the 1-in-100, 1-in-200 and
1-in-500 year flood levels for the location and design of new
development in the State Planning Policy 1/03. This climate change
factor is limited to flood risk management for planning purposes as
described by the policy and does not extend to more frequent events
such as a 1-in-50 year flood or more extreme events than a 1-in-500
The study recommends that local governments should use the
following temperature increases and planning horizons for the
purpose of applying this climate change factor: 2°C by 2050,
3°C by 2070 and 4°C by 2100.3
The State government have foreshadowed that further guidance
will be provided to local governments from the review of the policy
scheduled for completion in 2013.
In addition, the climate change factor of 5 per cent will also
be reviewed when a national position on how to factor climate
change into local flood studies is carried out under the Australian
Rainfall and Runoff Engineers Australia Publication (AR&R).
However, the State Government have indicated that this information
won't be available before 2014.4
1 Media release, "Queensland bracing for more
flooding", Australian Bureau of Meteorology, 23 December
2010 2 Page 1, Final report on the Inland Flooding
Study, 2010 3 Page 1, Final report on the Inland Flooding
Study, 2010 4 Page 1, Final report on the Inland Flooding
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