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Brisbane floods: Residents in two suburbs to get up to $50,000 to disaster-proof homes

By Talissa Siganto and Allyson Horn, Tuesday June 5, 2018 - 16:21 EST

Homeowners in two Brisbane suburbs will be able to apply for a slice of $12 million to raise homes or make modifications to improve their flood immunity, using ratepayer funds.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk revealed the $12 million "flood resilient homes" program on Tuesday, .

Under the plan, more than 200 eligible households at Inala, south of Brisbane, and in inner city Rosalie will be able to apply for up to $50,000 to modify floors and walls, to relocate electrics and services and raise timber homes.

Both areas experienced significant flooding in 2011.

The money will be included in Brisbane City Council's 2018/19 budget, which will be brought down later this month.

Leigh Bird's Rosalie home has been flooded more than a dozen times since she bought the property in 2009.

"We had a major flood in 2011 which was about four metres deep and that was pretty horrific," she said.

"Since then, we get about two, maybe three instances of flash flooding each year, and that's about 500mm.

"It's pretty scary when you hear on the radio that we're going to have a weather event or something like a cyclone's coming, you start to hold your breath and get very anxious."

Ms Bird said she would be interested in accessing the Council program to install flood-proof cladding and raise the height of her home.

She said she also understood why some residents could be annoyed at the use of rate-payer funds.

"I can see how people would think that but no-one knew that 2011 was going to happen," she said.

"Unfortunately I couldn't afford to live on the hill, this is where I could afford to buy.

"And I don't really want to leave, but it would be fantastic if I could have a bit more peace of mind."

Cr Quirk said the program was designed to provide a "broader menu" for people in areas where pipe work was not practical or where drainage upgrades would not prevent flash flooding.

"In so many areas you can pipe but the reality is it won't work," he said.

"What we want to do is find a way we can provide an opportunity for flood resilience in those areas.

"We're talking about those areas (that) flood regularly after severe storm events ... they are areas that on average flood around every two years."

Karl Sullivan from Insurance Council of Australia said the program would benefit policy holders in high-risk areas.

"Lowering the risk over time means lower level of claims and a lower number of claims will lead to lower premiums," he said.

Cr Quirk also announced a new remote-controlled robotic dredging device would be used across the city to help clear mud from stormwater drains.

"It's the first of its type and it can get to those very hard to get to localities that our conventional methods don't [reach]," he said.

The "Mud Cat" will initially be deployed in the Castlemaine drain in Milton, but the Council is planning to also use it in other areas including Bulimba, Hawthorne and Auchenflower.

The program, which forms part of a larger $100 million flood mitigation investment in Brisbane, will be delivered over the next four years.


© ABC 2018

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