Brisbane River Catchment - Strategic Floodplain Management Plan and Flood Studies

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The Queensland Government and local councils have worked together to deliver on a long-term plan to manage the impact of future floods and enhance community safety and resilience in the Brisbane River floodplain. This program is a partnership between the Queensland Government, Seqwater and the four local governments of Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley.

Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan

The Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan (April 2019) provides the framework for a consistent approach to managing flood risk across the floodplain. It is a significant regional plan that considers current and future flood risk, disaster management, mitigation infrastructure, community resilience, building guides, land use planning and landscape management. It has been informed by the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study released in May 2017.

The Strategic Plan includes 52 recommendations for the Queensland and local governments to implement that will further strengthen the flood resilience of communities living, working and visiting the Brisbane River floodplain.

Measures include structural mitigation, land use planning, building guidance, community resilience, disaster management and landscape management. Delivery of these actions will build on the extensive work delivered since 2011 to improve flood resilience in the region.

Key outputs from the Strategic Plan include:

  • a comprehensive assessment of the economic cost of flooding
  • regional data for a consistent approach to managing the floodplain
  • flood resilient building guides to help reduce the impact of floods on Queensland homes
  • identification of structural mitigation options to undergo further feasibility testing.

VIDEO: Watch the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan animation (2 minutes 30 seconds) to find out more about the strategic plan and how governments are working together to reduce the cost of floods and improve community safety across the Brisbane River floodplain.

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    Brisbane River Catchment Flood Studies

    In May 2017, the Queensland Government released the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study, the most comprehensive study of its kind undertaken in Australia, to support greater understanding of flood behaviour in the catchment. The Flood Study, a partnership between the Queensland Government, Seqwater and the four local governments of Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley, considers a range of factors including location of rainfall, ground conditions, sea levels and dam water levels.

    Image: Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study area

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    Flood Study 

    VIDEO: Watch the Flood Study animation (2 minutes 53 seconds) to find out more about the purpose of the Flood Study and how the Brisbane River Catchment works.

    The Flood Study area includes parts of the Brisbane River catchment, with a focus on flooding events downstream of Wivenhoe Dam including the Brisbane River, Lockyer Creek and the Bremer River system.  The following fly-through uses the data from the Flood Study modelling to replicate the peak flood flows and timings experienced during the 2011 floods. 

    Two major components of the Flood Study are the hydrologic and hydraulic assessments.

    • The hydrologic assessment investigated how combinations of rainfall, dam levels, ground conditions and tide influences could merge to create potential flood events within the floodplain. This assessment considered the entire Brisbane River catchment (including the Lockyer Valley and other regions outside of the Brisbane River floodplain).
    • The hydraulic assessment used the data inputs from the hydrology assessment to model how floodwaters progressed through the Brisbane River floodplain, taking into account terrain characteristics of rivers, creeks and floodplains, and infrastructure such as bridges, stormwater networks, dams and levees. The hydraulic assessment generated flood modelling for the lower Brisbane River downstream of Wivenhoe Dam.

    The Flood Study is a regional study and property owners should contact their local council for more specific information relating to flood mapping for individual properties.  Current local flood mapping information is available online at:

    Councils will consider the Flood Study information to identify any necessary changes to flood products, tools and policies. Each council will apply the Flood Study to their planning schemes and current development applications according to their own internal policies and procedures, as appropriate. For further information on this, contact your local council.