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Building Design Guidelines Help Flood-Impacted Queensland Homeowners

July 01, 2022

The State Government has today released industry leading flood resilience design guidelines to help Queenslanders understand options to improve their home’s resilience to floods.

Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said the guidelines have been released as part of ongoing work to help Queensland homeowners impacted by this year’s severe flooding events.

“Over 7000 Queensland homes were damaged by flooding this year across 37 local government areas,” Senator Watt said.

“With the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund – which is being delivered through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) – we are working hard to assist as many flood-impacted people as possible, as soon as possible.

“Trained assessors are on the ground speaking with Queenslanders who have registered for assistance through this initiative, and their activity will be scaling up significantly in coming weeks.

“As you can appreciate, there’s never been a program of this scale and complexity ever delivered before in Australia.

“However, we are confident this work will become the benchmark for national flood resilience initiatives.”

Minister for Public Works and Procurement Mick de Brenni said options under the Resilient Homes Fund include retrofitting or house-raising to improve resilience or, in severe cases, the voluntary buy-back of properties.

However, he said, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and so the flood resilience design guidelines were developed through a collaboration of the industry’s leading experts including the Government’s very own architect Leah Lang along with James Davidson and the team from JDA Co.

“The various options will be considered and provided to homeowners on a case-by-case basis and this needs to be specific to their level of flood damage, future flood risk and property type,” he said.

“The design guidelines are exceptional in their ease of application and clarity; enabling homeowners to quickly resume normal life after the flood waters recede, with reduced long-term disruption to family and finances.

“They won’t stop a flood but will help minimise the chance of flood damage to individual properties, save homeowners in the long-term from having to pay for repetitive repairs to their homes, and prepare homes for changing flood conditions in the future.

“A link to these Guidelines, which are published online, will be sent to everyone that has registered for the Fund and are available for industry practitioners.”

Member for Bundamba Lance McCullum said that, as at 28 June 2022, more than 3171 people had registered their interest in the program.

This included 391 people registering their interest in the voluntary buy-back scheme, 1072 in the house-raising and 1145 in the retrofit, with 563 people being unsure.

“In Ipswich LGA, 349 homes have registered their interest in the Fund,” said Mr McCullum.

“This includes 69 interested in raising their home, 74 in a resilient rebuild, 135 in the voluntary buyback and 71 people are, understandably, still unsure.

“As part of the home assessments, homeowners are educated about the flood risks for their individual properties,” he said.

“The assessments in our community began last Friday and I’m relieved to see them out in force helping our local residents to get back on their feet.

Mr de Brenni said that floor level surveys will be completed by our team prior to the home assessments.

“The Resilient Homes Fund will help many Queenslanders impacted by this disaster season’s weather and flooding events to not only get back into their home sooner, but to do so in a way that improves resilience to future flooding events, said Mr de Brenni.

“What’s important right now is that homeowners impacted by the flooding register their details so an assessor can schedule an appointment to speak with them.

“That’s when they are able to discuss which options will best suit their individual properties.

“But if anyone needs help now, I urge them to call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Flood-impacted Queenslanders can register their interest in the Resilient Homes Fund at www.qld.gov.au/resilienthomes.

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