Final report into deadly Queensland flood due

The February-March southeast Queensland floods cost an estimated $7.7 billion.

The February-March southeast Queensland floods cost an estimated $7.7 billion. Photo: AAP

A review of the Queensland government’s preparations for and response to catastrophic floods which killed 13 people and damaged 18,000 homes and businesses will hand over its final report.

Inspector-General Emergency Management Alistair Dawson has spent five months reviewing the response to the February-March floods in the state’s southeast.

Mr Dawson will hand his final report to Police Minister Mark Ryan on Wednesday but it is not known when the document will be publicly released.

Mr Ryan said on Wednesday morning the government was yet to receive the report, however it was due by the end of the day and would be considered.

The inspector-general’s office received over 240 submissions and conducted 13 community forums, with over 460 attendees.

As part of the probe, it reviewed the state and 23 local governments’ preparations and responses to the disaster, triggered when parts of the region were hit by the most intense rainfall on record.

The inspector-general assessed the timing and effectiveness of public emergency alerts, measures to protect human lives and property, and the management of dams, in particular the Wivenhoe Dam.

It also assessed emergency service resourcing, the supply of essentials including food, water and electricity and cooperation between government and agencies.

“In conducting the review, the office will consider the views of community members, relevant agencies and operational staff and also be informed by any relevant expert advice,” the terms of reference said.

The inspector-general’s office said the report would identify possible improvements to Queensland’s disaster management arrangements.

Thirteen people died and about 18,000 homes and business were affected when multiple rivers broke their banks and flash floods surged through creeks following days of intense rain in February and March.

The Bureau of Meteorology said more than 1.77m of rain fell on Mount Glorious in seven days, while 1.55m fell at Pomona, on the Sunshine Coast, and 1.23m fell at Upper Springbrook on the Gold Coast.

Brisbane copped 795mm – the city’s wettest week since records began in 1840 – as the wider region was devastated by the deluge.

A Deloitte report estimated the total cost of the southeast Queensland floods, which affected half a million people, to be $7.7 billion.

A La Nina weather phenomenon contributed to six major floods in the state between December and May, which had a combined death toll of 28.

Scientists warn the frequency of La Nina events has increased due to climate change.

The BoM forecasts the pattern to settle over Australia later this year for a third consecutive summer.

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