WIT Press

Living With Flooding: Brisbane’s Approach To Floodplain Management


Free (open access)





Page Range

665 - 676




373 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Pennisi, O. Perera


Brisbane is Australia’s third most populous city after Melbourne and Sydney and is the capital city of the State of Queensland. The long meandering Brisbane River flowing through the heart of the city makes Brisbane a green, healthy and subtropical city, earning its ranks among the most liveable cities in the world. Brisbane has faced many flood related challenges since the beginning of the 19th century through to the 21st century. Brisbane grew rapidly after the Second World War and the city’s approach to flood risk management focused on land use planning and structural flood mitigation solutions such as pipes. After Brisbane experienced large flood events in 1974 and 2011, Brisbane City Council (Council) adopted a progressive and holistic approach to ensure residents and businesses are safe, confident and ready for flooding. Council’s flood risk management strategy, ‘FloodSmart Future 2012–2031’ (the Strategy), sets out a hazard based land use planning approach through the ‘Brisbane City Plan 2014’ (City Plan 2014) achieving much needed flood resilient outcomes for the city. This paper describes the four strategic principles the city embraced under the Strategy. The tools Council’s project team used during the strategy and individual flood product development will be discussed in this paper together with the use of governance and communication frameworks. Working closely with stakeholders and industry groups to ensure robust consultation with Brisbane’s community members and elected representatives has been a formula for success behind the implementation of the range of flood risk management tools by Council including FloodWise Property Reports (FWPR), Flood Awareness Maps (FAM) and the City Plan Flood Overlay Code.


floodplain management, flood risk, flood management strategy