Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flood Modelling Set to Face Rigorous Scrutiny

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flood Modelling Set to Face Rigorous Scrutiny

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

THE State Government has engaged a company that provided technical advice to the Floods Commission of Inquiry into the 2011 Brisbane floods, to review Sunshine Coast Council modelling used to support its application for a major planning scheme amendment.

WMA Water has been commissioned to conduct the independent review of the Flood Impact Assessment and associated modelling, hydrological and hydraulic, provided by the council to the State Government in support of its proposed major planning scheme amendment for a 104ha parcel of land known as Twin Waters West.

The amendment has met broad community opposition based on concerns about the potential loss of up to 1.5 million cubic metres of flood storage capacity and where that displaced capacity would go in a serious weather event.

WMA Water's managing director Mark Babister is technical chair of the Geosciences Australia hosted Australian Rainfall and Run-off whose 2016 guidelines are now the default national standard.

Australian Rainfall and Run-off editor Dr Peter Coombes said the new guidelines replaced the old standard from 1987 and used actual historical Australian data.

Dr Coombes said the Maroochy River floodplain involved a complex interaction of tidal and river processes.

Sunshine Coast Council has welcomed the State Government review but has expressed confidence in its flood modelling which it said was taken from the council's regional flood model.

A spokesperson described it as a sophisticated model that considered Maroochy River flooding, local area flooding, storm tide conditions and future climate as well as the impact of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project and future fill requirements on the North Shore.

A Department of Local Government Infrastructure and Planning spokesperson said the review's expected cost of about $17,000 would be met by the department. It is expected to be completed by the end of this month before further analysis and review leading to an October announcement of the State Government's position.

Planning schemes and amendments go through two state interest checks, one on initial application which determines whether the process can proceed to consultation and then a second check before sign off. …

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