A further 1300 homeowners are prepared to have their homes raised, and 1500 want their homes rebuilt to be flood-proof.
Queensland Reconstruction Authority Chair Brendan Moon today said there remained 2000 uninhabitable properties across South East Queensland, and hundreds of people still at a loss as to how to move forward after the disaster.
“There is still 600 people who are unsure of their next steps,” Moon said.
“Our approach now is very much supporting them, getting them to the right decision, one to get them back into their home as soon as possible, but also to support their decision to reduce flood-risk into the future.”
He said the QRA had identified the most damaged and highest flood risk properties but the buy-back process was voluntary and relied on the homeowner agreeing to an independent valuation of their property.
“This is a big decision for people so we are not going to rush this,” he said.
The government has set a two-year deadline for the work to be done but it’s unclear at this stage what impact the rising cost and falling supply of building materials might have.
On Saturday, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner released the Council’s Rebuild & Recover: Flood Recovery Action Plan with 51 tasks designed to ensure the city is stronger in the face of future severe weather events.
The plan lays out how and when Council will deliver on the 37 recommendations from the 2022 Flood Review report of the disaster by Paul de Jersey AC, including that riverine and waterway infrastructure be better designed, land-use in flood-prone commercial and industrial areas be reassessed, and communities be better informed.
The extraordinary rain event, which hit South East Queensland, the Northern Rivers and other parts of NSW in February and March 2022, was the second costliest in Australia’s history – worse than Cyclone Tracy in 1974 and falling only behind Sydney’s 1999 hailstorm.
Losses from the disaster totalled a record-breaking $5.134 billion, according to data released Friday by the Insurance Council of Australia.
A recent CSIRO megatrends report has warned the cost of natural disasters will triple over the next 30 years as a result of climate change.
“The scale and impact of the increasing likelihood of further events, as detailed in the CSIRO report, make it imperative that the rebuild and reconstruction from this flood significantly improves the resilience of these communities to future extreme weather events,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.