News

Benefit of flood mapping technology comes to light

AS THE anniversary of the 2013 Bundaberg flood approaches, Bundaberg Regional Council has for the first time revealed the critical role cutting-edge mapping technology played in saving thousands of flood victims.

When six tornados struck in and around Bundaberg in January 2013, Bundaberg Regional Council turned to Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to provide rescue teams with instant information for evacuations, rescues, food drops, and the ensuing clean-up.

GIS Delivery and Support team leader Steven Bowden said the technology was a crucial part of its operation to evacuate more than 6,000 people from the areas of North and East Bundaberg.

"Council has been working with Esri Australia in leveraging GIS technology across different business areas for the past five years," Mr Bowden said.

"But it was when the floods hit in 2010 and 2013 that the technology truly delivered its greatest value by providing us with an up-to-date view of the situation as it was unfolding.

"In this way, GIS technology improved all of our tactical and operational decision-making, situational awareness, strategic planning, community engagement and rescue efforts."

Mr Bowden being able to share information was vital during the flood crisis.

"It was crucial for us at council, as well as other organisations such as the Australian Defence Force (ADF), The Salvation Army and The Red Cross," he said.

"It also enabled us to receive information from other organisations, particularly Rapid Damage Assessment (RDA) data from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)."

Mr Bowden said the council also used GIS technology to deliver critical emergency messages for those in trouble during the disaster.

"We used GIS technology to define the boundaries of areas affected by the incident," Mr Bowden said.

"These geographic locators then allowed council to issue State Government Emergency Alerts to the residents of Winfield - on Baffle Creek - warning them of impending flooding.

"The Emergency Alert system produced an automatic voice message to all identified landline telephone services, within the defined geographic area, notifying them of the approaching danger."

Andrew Highley, Esri Australia Business Manager, said during the crisis, GIS technology was critical in identifying where community members needed help.

"Council used the technology to map the locations of requests for assistance from the Disaster Coordination Centre Hotline," Mr Highley said.

"Councils could then locate where community members were and what assistance they required - such as whether they were trapped by the flood or if they had no access to food.

"Response agencies such as State Emergency Services, QFES, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, and helicopter assets could then be dispatched to respond to the situation.

"Comprehensive maps for the ADF were also generated to find suitable landing sites for food drops, as well as maps of exclusion zones, traffic management plans, critical infrastructure, mud army marshalling and route maps."

Bundaberg Regional Council has revealed more details of their 2013 flood experience in the GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study.

The Study - a joint collaboration between the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute and Esri Australia - found 76 per cent of councils use GIS technology when planning for an emergency; 75 per cent use it to guide their response; and 68 per cent rely on it to aid recovery.

For further information about the Study or to download a copy, visit esriaustralia.com.au/benchmark-study.

Topics:  floods 2013



Mayor ready to spend millions

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey says there is work to be done, and $10 million dollars will help us get there.

$10M cash injection for Bundy ratepayers

Landlord's nightmare: Maggots, faeces and garbage

Amanda Rehbein and Greg Snell were left devastated after they say tenants left rubbish strewn through their home and property.

Couple left with massive clean-up

Gig Guide Thursday, January 19-Sunday, January 22

Gig Guide.

Chill out with some tunes at your favourite hangout.

Local Partners

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Choirboys headline Agnes music festival

ROCK ON: Choirboys are set to headline the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival in 2017.

Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival has announced its 2017 line-up

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

50 Shades of Bli Bli: Adult theme park plans revealed

THE MIND BOGGLES: Potential buyers of Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli have considered a range of different themes, including an 'adult entertainment venue'.

Sunshine Castle looks to new, prosperous future.

Dating between the sheets on national TV?

Singles meet for the first time in their underwear in the SBS TV series Undressed.

NO shortage of singles willing to get Undressed with a stranger.

What's on the big screen this week

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

ACCLAIMED Australian film Lion finally makes its domestic debut.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!