2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods - Recovery operation

Event summary

The 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods event comprised repeated and devastating flooding across many Queensland communities. In November, as summer arrived, heavy rainfall brought devastating flooding across parts of southern and western Queensland. As the new year arrived, the townships of Maryborough and Gympie suffered major inundation. The rains continued and in late February, Brisbane and surrounds faced flooding not seen at such a scale since the devastating summer of 2011. In May, there was unseasonable rain and more flooding, with some communities being impacted for the fourth time across the season.

Thousands of Queenslanders, families, small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and primary producers have felt the impacts of these events and tragically, too many lives were lost. The damage was widespread, with Queensland facing one of the biggest recovery operations in its history, spanning 39 of Queensland’s 77 local government areas.

The 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods included the following four significant events and a range of assistance has been activated through the joint State and Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to address the immediate and long-term impacts from these events:

  • Central, Southern and Western Queensland Rainfall and Flooding, 10 November – 3 December 2021
  • Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth, 29 December 2021 – 10 January 2022
  • South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding, 22 February – 5 April 2022
  • Southern Queensland Flooding, 6 - 20 May 2022

State Recovery Plan

The 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods State Recovery and Resilience Plan 2022-24 (the Plan) documents local activities, regional recovery and resilience priorities, and state and Commonwealth government initiatives and funding to provide a single coherent pathway to recovery.

The Plan will, in execution, ensure a strong recovery from the 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods, and enhance community resilience to the effects of natural disasters in the future. 

Financial assistance and exceptional circumstances package

Maryborough during 2022 floods
39 local government areas have been activated for the 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods event under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for various funding assistance measures for individuals, primary producers, small business and not for profits.
Resilient Residential Recovery
This package comprises the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund program, to support those people whose houses have been severely impacted, $721 million to fund initiatives that will assist recovery across the five recovery domains; human and social, economic, environment, building and roads and transport and a $30 million Clean-up program available to councils and state agencies to cover extraordinary clean-up costs not eligible under the DRFA.

For assistance with disaster recovery funding eligibility and support please contact the Queensland Government Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or visit the Queensland Government website for financial help for current and recent disasters (External link).


Local Recovery Plans

The following 16 event specific Local Recovery Plans were prepared and endorsed by councils for the 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods.

Note: These Local Recovery Plans supersede the draft local recovery plans published in the Companion Document to the 2021-22 Southern Queensland Floods State Recovery Plan 2022-24 which reflected recovery planning at the time of publishing in July 2022 (QRA Reference DOC/22/32057).

Deloitte independent report estimates $7.7 billion cost from floods

Two months on from the flood disaster an independent Deloitte Report into the South East Queensland floods revealed an estimated total cost of $7.7 billion to Queensland. The Deloitte Report considered the social, financial and economic costs of the 2022 South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding Event that hit 23 local government areas. The report estimates:

  • More than 500,000 people were affected by the floods in some way with an estimated human and social cost of $4.5 billion.
  • The impact to homes and commercial businesses has been estimated at $2 billion with approximately 18,000 homes or businesses impacted. 
  • Of that, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) reported more than 97,000 residential and commercial claims had been lodged with a total value of $1.36 billion leaving approximately $646 million in uninsured residential and commercial losses.
  • The economic impact on Queensland small businesses was significant with more than 4500 affected and total damage of approximately $324 million.
  • The floods had a major impact on Queensland’s agricultural sector with more than 2250 primary producers affected across 17 local government areas at the time of the report with losses estimated to be more than $250 million.