Far North Queensland Flood Warning Infrastructure Network Project

Project purpose

The purpose of the Far North Queensland Flood Warning Infrastructure Network (FWIN) Project is to analyse existing flood warning infrastructure, and work with the Bureau of Meteorology and local communities to identify high priority locations requiring additional flood warning infrastructure capability.

Video: FWIN Project overview

This 7 minute educational video provides an overview of the Queensland Flood Warning Infrastructure Network (FWIN) project for the Far North, North West and Townsville regions. It explains the differences between the four types of flood warning assets being installed for councils, including technology features and specifications, and how they work to provide the best possible flood warnings. Learn how these Rain gauges, Rain /River Towers, Flood Warning Cameras, and Flood Warnings Signs are helping to protect our Queensland communities.

Background

The Far North Queensland FWIN Project helps support Queensland communities in their recovery following the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough disaster event (25 January to 14 February 2019).

The $8 million FWIN Project was approved as part of the $242 million Category C and D Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) package, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments. The project covers three areas of operation: Far North Queensland; North West Queensland; and Townsville and surrounds.

Area of operation

The Far North Queensland FWIN Project area of operation includes ten local government areas (LGAs):

  • Cairns
  • Cassowary Coast
  • Cook
  • Douglas
  • Lockhart River
  • Mapoon
  • Mareeba
  • Pormpuraaw
  • Torres Strait Island
  • Wujul Wujul.

Other Far North Queensland FWIN Project partners include: Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC); Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA) Inc., the Bureau of Meteorology; Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

Project benefits

The Far North Queensland FWIN Project is keeping our communities safe by delivering:

  • suitable flood warning infrastructure upgrades to the most appropriate locations throughout the flood-impacted area
  • improvements to Bureau of Meteorology services to support primary producers and communities
  • a range of assets to support better information being made available including the use of flood cameras at strategic locations.

Key project actions

Key project actions for the Far North Queensland FWIN Project are to:

  • facilitate a catchment approach - locally led, regionally coordinated
  • define flood warning infrastructure as means for providing situational awareness
  • incorporate existing initiatives into one common operating picture
  • analyse existing infrastructure upgrade initiatives against identified risk areas
  • identify gaps in the flood warning infrastructure network
  • develop and apply principles for prioritisation across the areas of operation
  • prioritise flood warning infrastructure improvements across the areas of operation
  • support procurement of infrastructure
  • establish / align with emerging governance arrangements.

Key statistics

The Far North Queensland FWIN Project will have a total of 45 flood warning assets to be installed that will benefit the 10 LGAs.

The Excel file outlines the project breakdown per asset type and LGA for each of the three FWIN Project Areas of Operation.

Standards

All of the new infrastructure investment for the Far North Queensland Flood Warning Infrastructure Network will conform to the Bureau of Meteorology's National Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard (external link | PDF) and work aligns with the National Framework for Flood Warning Infrastructure.  

Flood cameras

The flood camera infrastructure will conform to the TMR standard, and it is expected the cameras will be able to be incorporated into both the Queensland Traffic website and council disaster dashboards.

Permanent Survey Mark (PSM)

Every river gauge will have a Permanent Survey Mark (PSM) installed by qualified Cadastral Surveyors. PSMs are a registered reference point that provides an accurate description of the location and are displayed as coordinates.

A PSM provides an accurate vertical height known as an Australian Height Datum (AHD) which is the height in metres above sea level. The levels are from the base of the river where the gauge receives its data.  Knowing the AHD allows the Bureau to have an official height of the water that the river gauge is providing.

AHDs are also used to better understand the difference between the height of the water at a gauge and a known reference point that also has an AHD e.g. a bridge deck. Knowing the water and its relationship to the bridge deck, people can make the necessary actions to respond to the event.

PSMs have a numeric identifier and are registered with the Department of Resources Survey Control Database (SCDB).

Procurement

To ensure value for money in the delivery of the program, a group procurement arrangement was established.

Governance

The Far North Queensland FWIN Project is being overseen by a Project Manager, and is supported by the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) as the coordinating authority.

Project Manager

The Project Manager will oversee the delivery of gauges in the area.

Gerard Read
GWR Civil Engineering Management
Mobile: 0437 231068
Email: gerard.read@gwrcem.com.au

Progress

  • It is anticipated installation of all assets will occur by 30 June 2022.
  • Activities complete
    • Stakeholder consultation to determine priority locations
    • Review of local government flood warning investment plans
    • Based on stakeholder feedback received and an independent review, prioritised a list of flood warning locations and assets
    • Asset responsibility and governance arrangements agreed with councils
    • New assets confirmed and accepted by councils following an additional $6 million injection of grant funding across the three areas of operation
    • 10 local governments approved for 45 flood warning assets to be installed
    • Project Manager appointed
    • Sites selected and approved
    • Tender sent to market for delivery contractor
    • Delivery contractor appointed.

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