From flood repair to flood resilience: call to sign new online petition to demand change

South East Queenslanders are being called on to add the weight of their voice to support the call to urgently invest in flood resilience, to show they are tired of being so badly impacted by floods time and time again, when something can be done.

According to the region’s peak environmental authority, Healthy Land & Water, decision-makers have known for decades what can be done to help reduce the impact of disasters on our region, but even after the devastation of the 2011 floods, the key actions have not been followed through.

The group is launching an online petition today so community members can show their support for proactively investing in flood resilience, instead of the current age-old reactive system which relies on funding to clean up the damage and provide relief payments after the fact.

CEO of Healthy Land & Water, Julie McLellan, says the initiative has been designed to put the power back in the hands of the people who are most affected, so they can show their dissatisfaction with the current system.

Ms McLellan points to the existing reactive strategies which have seen thousands of people left homeless, wildlife lost, and businesses destroyed because of the 2022 flooding catastrophes in South East Queensland.

“Signing the online petition is an easy way of saying enough is enough, we know there is a better way, and we want it to happen now,” she says.

Ms McLellan says that at the end of the campaign, we will be able to show decision makers the groundswell of support from our communities for action.

“It is calling out the current reactive approach which is expensive, disrupts the community and severely undermines South East Queensland’s sustainability and liveability,” she says.

“Adding your name to the petition is a way of saying that we know that by getting better prepared, we can reduce the impact of future disaster events on our communities and the environment.

“Let’s be candid – more extreme events are on the cards as a result of climate change, so the time for action is now,” she says.

Ms McLellan says that there are many ways to achieve change, but one of the biggest is proactively channelling investment into slowing the water down.

“We know that healthy, vegetated landscapes help to reduce the severity of flooding and decrease the volume of sediment washed into our rivers, bays and the ocean where they cause further damage to precious marine life,” she explains.

After two major flood events in the region already this year, Healthy Land & Water, says the time has come for people across the region to join forces to make SEQ more resilient to natural disasters.

Ms McLellan says Healthy Land & Water is also helping spread the message by sharing stories of people impacted by natural disasters and is hosting a roundtable meeting next month for industry and community influencers to map out strategies for change.

“We’re asking for you to add your name to the call to flip the funding model from repair to resilience so future generations can enjoy the same lifestyle we do today.”

To sign the petition

  • Go to seqneedsyou.hlw.org.au, or
  • Go to change.org and search for flood resilience and look for the campaign titled ‘SEQ needs you”

Quick facts

  • South East Queensland is considered one of the three most vulnerable regions in Australia when it comes to potential flood disasters.
  • 5 of the 10 Queensland local government areas with properties most at risk from climate change impacts are in South East Queensland.
  • ~ 5 million tonnes of sediment entered Moreton Bay during the 2022 rain events.
  • More than 22,000 tonnes of waste have been collected after the February 2022 floods.
  • Up to 50,000 homes in Brisbane alone are at risk of severe flooding.
  • More than 17,000 Brisbane homes and businesses were damaged in 2022 with 1,800 of these considered severely damaged.
  • 80% of Quandamooka’s (Moreton Bay) seagrass beds were impacted after the 2011 floods.
  • Resilience solutions are 3-5 times more cost effective than reactive disaster response.
  • $27.5 million a year is needed for proactive resilience solutions.
  • The new ‘SEQ NEEDS YOU’ campaign is aimed squarely at convincing governments and industry to put their focus on preparedness and mitigation, instead of relying on disaster repair and relief.

About Healthy Land & Water

Healthy Land & Water is the national resource management (NRM) body for South East Queensland.

With a team of expert scientists and engineers, we are on the ground every day researching, monitoring and working on projects that deliver game-changing outcomes for the region. Healthy Land & Water coordinates the South East Queensland Natural Resource Management Plan in partnership with industry, government and community.

To arrange interviews or for more information:

Contact Healthy Land & Water media contact, Suzi Moore 0427 641 239 or suzi.m@hlw.org.au

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