DEVASTATION: The main street of Ipswich during the 1974 flood with East St in the background.
DEVASTATION: The main street of Ipswich during the 1974 flood with East St in the background. The Queensland Times Archives

City better prepared for flooding with '74 flood line: Tully

THE 1974 flood level will become the permanent line controlling residential development for Ipswich.

Council planning boss Paul Tully said the State Government had approved the new flooding provisions under the Ipswich Planning Scheme.

Cr Tully said adopting the 1974 flood level as the key residential development line for the city would be used to regulate new development and "won't affect existing lawful uses or current development approvals".

He said the council would also repeal the Temporary Local Planning Instrument and its associated flooding regulations which had been in place since June 2011, to make way for the planning scheme amendments.

Talk of adopting the 1974 flood level was publicly opposed by vocal groups, but Cr Tully denied it would be an unpopular decision.

"I think most people will see that establishing the 1974 flood level as the limit of our development was the right thing to do," he said.

"It's been recommended by successive ministers since 2011 and for future generations, it set a level that's more appropriate in Ipswich to the likelihood of flooding."

In its findings, he said, the Flood Commission praised Ipswich City Council, saying adopting the 1974 level was a prudent approach.

"Then it said it should be reviewed after the study, which we're doing," Cr Tully said.

"It's already in through the TLPI. What the ministers have said since 2011 is that this should come into the planning scheme as soon as possible. Because TLPIs only last one year and have go to be renewed."

He said the new approach provided clear guidelines for landowners of property below the flood line now and into the future.

"If you've got a single existing property that's vacant land, you can build a house on it but you can't subdivide and you can't put more units on it. If there's an existing house you can expand it, you can put a carport on or a garage, a shed," he said.

"The only thing that might be problematic is if you want to enclose under a high-set house if it's in the major flood flow.

Cr Tully said the new provisions using the 1974 flood level would "go a long way to ensuring Ipswich residents are better prepared for future flooding events".

"Damage caused by the 1974, 2011 and 2013 floods was heartbreaking for so many people" Cr Tully said.

"These new flooding provisions will be further reviewed upon completion of the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study and its associated recommendations for flood plain management."

Cr Tully thanked the Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney for his prompt approval of the new amendments.

For more information see ipswichplanning.com.au.



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