Developing our expertise in the management of flooding
Keys, C., Angus, D. and Benning, N (1996-97) The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 11 (4), 38-43
Of all the natural hazards which Australian communities have to deal with, flooding is in economic terms the most significant. The average annual cost of floods in Australia was estimated in the early 1990s as being nearly $400 million, most of it incurred in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) (Australian Water Resources Council, 1992). Fortunately, floods are amongst the most manageable of environmental threats: the areas which are liable to flooding are relatively easy to determine and a range of measures is available by which flood prone communities can be protected (Smith and Handmer, 1984; Benning, 1996). As a result it is possible to plan for and develop defences against floods so that their impacts can be mitigated by maximising human safety and minimising property and other losses. In Australia, however, flood management strategies have evolved in a very uneven manner across the states and territories and as a consequence there are substantial differences in the effectiveness of flood mitigation efforts.
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