Flood resilience flows through Ipswich following 2022 floods

21 February 2024

Building back better in preparation for future floods has been the central theme of the city’s recovery, as Ipswich marks two years since floodwaters once again rose in 2022.

Ipswich is now more flood resilient than it has ever been, with more than 400 recovery and resilience projects now complete two years on from the 2022 floods.

Ipswich City Council Chief Executive Officer Sonia Cooper said the city’s work on flood recovery and resilience projects had exceeded the $100 million mark in a bid to make it easier and more cost effective for Ipswich to recover and move on from future floods.

“As the community knows all too well, the February 2022 floods inundated almost 600 homes and 300 businesses across Ipswich before another wave of flooding inundated our community again in May 2022,” Ms Cooper said.

“It came as a tough blow to residents and businesses who had endured the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic, only to find themselves facing a flood recovery in some of the most challenging economic conditions we’ve seen in recent memory.

“As a result, resilience has been front and centre in our program of works as council has completed more than 400 flood recovery projects, with around 200 more planned for the coming year.

“Council has spent more than $100 million on our flood recovery and resilience to-date, ensuring we can bounce back quicker and more cost effectively following future flood events in Ipswich.”

Council took a different approach following the 2022 floods, undertaking a comprehensive and citywide review of its flood response and recovery efforts and listening to the community’s views on the best way to move forward.

“The overwhelming response from the Ipswich community was to stop building things back in the same way we always have. We needed to build back better and smarter in preparation for future floods,” Ms Cooper said.

“Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve was a great example of this, where more than 600 residents put their views forward on the new design. Of these, more than 80 percent of residents supported a more natural and back-to-basics approach to the final design.

“Work on finalising the new look Colleges Crossing, through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, is now underway and all going well is expected to be ready for the community to enjoy by the end of the year.

“Council has also worked closely with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), to buy back more than 150 properties to date with 100 of these already demolished or removed.

“The remaining land will be returned to the Ipswich community as green space to ensure this flood affected land can’t be built on in the future.

“Our community is also better prepared for future floods with the installation of a new flood camera network across Ipswich.

“Seven new CCTV cameras in Goodna, Karalee, Rosewood, Chuwar and Leichardt were added to council’s existing network following the 2022 floods to give residents instant access to view rising flood waters and impacted roads.

“We certainly thank Ipswich residents for their patience as council is firmly focused on building back better to ensure we are prepared to manage and respond to extreme weather and flood events in the future.”

To date, more than $103 million has been spent on the city’s resilience and recovery efforts. Around $23 million has been spent on the reconstruction of roads, parks, drainage, street lighting and sports facilities.

Council’s flood recovery and resilience projects have been jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Ipswich City Council’s flood recovery map shows the full extent of the city’s recovery efforts and the significant works completed in the two years following the 2022 floods.

Ipswich City Council is operating under caretaker provisions in accordance with Chapter 3, Part 5 of the Local Government Act 2009. Media communications by the Mayor and Councillors as ICC spokespeople during this time are limited to ensure compliance with legislation and, equity and transparency between existing Mayor, Councillors and candidates regarding access to Council resources.