Case study: Rebuilding Grantham together in 2011

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On January 2011, Grantham was severely damaged in a devastating flash flood that was described as an “inland tsunami”.

Twenty-one people died in the Lockyer Valley: fourteen in Grantham, two in MurphysCreek, two in PostmansRidge, two in Spring Bluff and one in Helidon.

Nearly every house in the floodplain area of Grantham sustained structural damage: 29 houses were completely destroyed and 130 severely damaged.
In May 2011 it was announced that the town would be moved to higher ground to prevent future damaging floods.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) together with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council worked in consultation to develop the plan for Rebuilding Grantham together.


A 935 acre site was purchased so that landholders could be provided a voluntary swap of equivalent-sized blocks.

The new site is situated on a hill overlooking Grantham and has permission from the state government to bypass the normal development approval process.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council gave flood-impacted residents the option to move to a new land parcel located adjacent to Grantham but outside the flood zone.

Residents who swapped lots of land then paid to build their new homes with their insurance payouts backed by special grants from the Premier's Flood Appeal.

The new development site

  • had a broader purpose to reinforce Grantham socially and economically
  • was large enough to accommodate the new Lockyer Valley Showgrounds in a location where it can add additional economic stimulus to Grantham
  • was large enough to accommodate future growth of Grantham and additional associated community facilities for the region.

By Christmas 2011 the first homes were built in the new estate and the first residents moved in.

Video: Context - Rebuilding Grantham together 2011 

Grantham Flyover - Rebuilding Grantham together 2011

Video: Timelapse - Rebuilding Grantham together 2011