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Bundaberg flood protection study

In January 2013, ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald devastated the Bundaberg region. Approximately:

  • 2400 properties were destroyed or damaged
  • 7000 people were evacuated
  • 600 businesses were damaged.

As a result of this devastation, the Queensland Government has determined to develop a 10-year action plan for major flood mitigation in Bundaberg.

A 10-year action plan for Bundaberg

The Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan is a roadmap that sets out the action required to reduce flood risks in Bundaberg. It builds on projects undertaken by the Bundaberg Regional Council and harnesses the collective knowledge of the Bundaberg community, experts and government to prioritise cost-effective flood mitigation solutions for the people of Bundaberg, their homes, businesses and the local economy.

See the Bundaberg 10-Year Action Plan.

  • Flood review:The government engaged Jacobs, an internationally recognised engineering firm, to undertake an independent review of previous flood studies, floodplain risk management plans and the community consultation process.
  • Consultation:Consultation was held in late 2015 and 2016 to capture local knowledge about flooding and ideas for solutions. The outcomes of this consultation informed the mitigation options that were assessed. Consultation on the options assessment is complete and Jacobs has prepared a report detailing the outcomes of stage 2 community engagement.
  • Assessment: A range of flood mitigation options were assessed. Information on the options and the outcomes of the options assessment are below.
  • Delivery: The Bundaberg Flood Protection Study was completed in early 2017. The development of the 10-year action plan and ongoing engagement will occur in 2017.

Findings of the Bundaberg Flood Protection Study

Frequently asked questions

  • The Government has released the Bundaberg Flood Protection Study reports which are a vital component of the Queensland Government’s commitment to developing a 10-year action plan for flood mitigation works in Bundaberg.

    The study reports are the outcome of a two-stage process undertaken by an independent consultant.

  • Stage 1 (undertaken in late 2015)

    • Involved review of previous work undertaken by Bundaberg Regional Council in 2013 and engagement with local communities in Bundaberg to gather information on flood behaviour and other possible solutions for flood management.
    • Re-engaged with local communities to identify proposed flood mitigation options and further explore alternative flood mitigation suggestions.

    Stage 2 (undertaken in 2016)

    • Assessed the 11 flood mitigation options that warranted further investigation following the outcomes of Stage 1 (this included options identified by community members).
    • Undertook further community and stakeholder engagement to support assessment of flood mitigation options.
    • Provided recommendations regarding which options warrant further consideration.
  • The Bundaberg Flood Protection Study outcomes have been provided in two reports:

    1. The Flood Mitigation Options Assessment Report

    • The aim of the report is to inform the development of a flood action plan for Bundaberg.
    • Identifies and assesses flood mitigation options that warranted assessment following the outcomes of stage 1.
    • Included further community and stakeholder engagement to support the assessment of flood mitigation options.

    2.Consultation Report

    • Provides an overview of the community and stakeholder engagement activities undertaken for stage 2 of the Bundaberg flood protection study between April 2016 and December 2016.
  • The Bundaberg Flood Protection Study was undertaken by independent consultant Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Ltd.

  • What options are recommended as appropriate for further investigation and consideration at this stage?

    • Option H: Bundaberg North Evacuation Routes.
    • Option D: Bundaberg East levee.
    • Option K: Upper floodplain evacuation improvements.
    • Option J: Floodway House Purchase Scheme.

    What options are not recommended as not appropriate for further investigation and consideration at this stage?

    • Option A: Burnett River conveyance improvements.
    • Option B: Bundaberg North floodway.
    • Option C: Bundaberg North levee and floodway.
    • Option E: Fairymead level removal.
    • Option F (Millaquin Bend) (only recommended for further investigation if Option D does not proceed).
    • Option G: Burnett River diversions.
    • Option I: Storages in upper Burnett River catchment.
  • The Queensland Government is currently reviewing the findings of the Bundaberg Flood Protection Study and is developing a 10-year action plan for flood mitigation in Bundaberg.

  • What options are recommended as appropriate for further investigation and consideration?

    Option H: Bundaberg North Evacuation Routes

    Aims to enhance emergency access to Tallon Bridge by creating an extension to the bridge from Gavin Street through to the roundabout near Bundaberg North Primary School. This option consists of a one-lane viaduct, which would run parallel to Hinkler Drive. The viaduct would only be used for evacuation purposes.

    Option D (Bundaberg East levee)

    Aims to protect Bundaberg East by constructing a levee on the river bank and across the Saltwater Creek floodplain. The levee would protect the Bundaberg East area from inundation from the Burnett River in the 1.5 per cent AEP Flood event.

    Option K (Upper floodplain evacuation improvements)

    Aims to provide better evacuation access in Goodnight, Morganville, Pine Creek, Givelda and Electra which can be isolated for up to two weeks due to low level bridge crossings and the lack of adequate and maintained 4WD access tracks.

    Option J (Floodway House Purchase Scheme)

    This would involve the voluntary purchase or relocation (via land-swap) of select residential blocks in Bundaberg North that are deemed to be in a floodway with high depths and velocities.

    What options are not recommended as not appropriate for further investigation and consideration at this stage?

    Option F (Millaquin Bend)

    Many of the benefits due to widening Millaquin Bend overlap with the Bundaberg East levee option (option D).

    While the study determined that further consideration of option F is warranted it is not recommended at this stage, although this should be reconsidered if the Bundaberg East levee is not progressed or is delayed.

    Other options investigated

    The study determined that further investigation was not recommended of the six other flood mitigation options due to such things as cost of construction and ongoing maintenance, impact on others, low likelihood of obtaining environmental approvals, and social and environmental impacts.

Next steps

See the Bundaberg 10-Year Action Plan.

Further information

To find out more please call 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

The Bundaberg Flood Protection Study development process

The following describes the process and findings of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Bundaberg Flood Protection Study development.

Stage 2: evaluating flood mitigation options and develop action plan

During stage 2, information sessions were held allowing community members to find out more about the flood mitigation options identified in stage 1 and stage 2 and to provide feedback.

The following discussion papers were prepared for the 11 flood mitigation options. These provided the community with an overview of the flood mitigation options and the findings of the options assessment.

  • Option A: Burnett River conveyance improvement
  • Option B: North Bundaberg floodway
  • Option C: Bundaberg North levee and floodway
  • Option D: Bundaberg East levee
  • Option E: Fairymead levee removal
  • Option F: Millaquin bend
  • Option G: Elliot River Diversion
  • Option H: Improving emergency access to Don Tallon Bridge
  • Option I: Dams in the upper catchment
  • Option J: Floodway house purchase scheme
  • Option K: Upper floodplain evacuation improvements

Information is now available to help you learn more about each of the flood mitigation options and the findings of the options assessment.

Discussion papers have been prepared for the 11 flood mitigation options. These provide an overview of the flood mitigation options and the findings of the options assessment.

  • This option involves river dredging along the town reach, removing Harriet Island, widening Millaquin Bend and regular maintenance dredging.

  • This option involves construction of four lakes either side of Hinkler Avenue to improve conveyance through Bundaberg North and a channel from Queen Street to Waterview Road.

  • This option involves constructing a levee around most of Bundaberg North. Lakes and widening of the rail bridge at Hanbury Street would also be required to improve conveyance through Bundaberg North.

  • This option includes construction of a levee along the south bank of the river to reduce flooding in Bundaberg East. It would require construction of two floodgates (with one large floodgate for Saltwater Creek).

  • This option involves removal of existing levees at Fairymead on the floodplain downstream of Bundaberg.

  • This option involves deepening, widening and regular maintenance dredging of a section of the left bank of the Burnett River by excavation and dredging to improve flood conveyance through a constricted part of the river.

  • This option involves construction of a diversion channel from the Burnett River into the Elliot River.

  • This option involves improving emergency access to Tallon Bridge by creating an extension to the bridge from Gavin Street through to the roundabout near Bundaberg North Primary School.

  • This option involves construction of dam(s) in the upper Burnett River catchment to temporarily store floodwaters. No specific sites have been chosen.

  • This option would involve either purchase or relocation (via land-swap) of select residential blocks in Bundaberg North that are deemed to be in a floodway with high depths and velocities.

  • This option involves provision of better evacuation routes and access during floods to the communities of Goodnight, Morganville, Pine Creek, Givelda and Electra through raising of the Perry River Bridge at Walla and construction and upgrading of 4WD tracks.

Stage 1: review and consultation

Stage 1 of the independent study was undertaken by Jacobs in November 2015. The study involved a review of previous flood studies and a public consultation period to capture local knowledge about flooding and potential flood solutions.

This was the first phase of consultation in the development of the 10-year action plan for major flood mitigation works in the Bundaberg region.

The outcomes of this consultation and Jacobs' independent reviews are now available for public review. Please refer to downloadable documents in the resources section below.

We appreciate the valuable contribution the community has made to existing studies and again, to this most recent one.

Read the Bundaberg flood protection scoping study stage 1 reports:

Last updated: Friday, Jan 15, 2021