FMA Monthly Flyer 5 May

Published: Wed, 05/31/17

Thank you for an excellent Conference...
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May 2017​


NSW/ACT Chapter Meeting and Workshop, Thursday 17 August in Sydney
Queensland Chapter Meeting and Workshop, Wednesday 15 November in Brisbane.

FMA National Conference Roundup

What a week in Newcastle! Starting with flood modelling training on Monday and concluding with the National Flood Forum on Friday, this was FMA’s largest and most comprehensive Conference to date with 387 registrations from all Australian states and territories, New Zealand, USA, Singapore and Vietnam.

Highlights included the well supported Pre-conference Workshops dealing with the challenging subject of Shelter in Place, led by FMA’s Danny Rose, and Flood Data Collection led by SES’s Elliott Simmons, (including a drone demonstration at the local park); Tracey Green’s discussion of mitigation on behalf of the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience; Steve O'Keefe explaining Newcastle University’s partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Disaster Risk Reduction; Jacky Croke’s exploration of the role of geomorphology in flood risk management; Simone de Kleermaeker and Brian Jackson updating on the Australian-Dutch water collaboration and the fascinating insights into river management issues in Viet Nam by Quy Nhan Pham, Ngoc Huan Tran and Thi Huong Lan Pham.

Thank you to each of the 130 presenters, plus tour guides, session chairs, organisers, sponsors, exhibitors and helpers for making this Conference possible.

To get a taste of the week, Google FMAConf2017 and #fmaconf17

If you have not already done so please complete and return the post Conference evaluation form which has been emailed to you.

HEC-RAS Water Modelling
The busy Conference week kicked off with 25 floodies participating in an introductory training session on hydraulic modelling, led by Krey Price from Surface Water Solutions and Mark Forest from HDR Engineering.

Following the success of this course on HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Centre-River Analysis System) a week-long series of HES-RAS courses covering basic, intermediate and advanced levels across both 1D and 2D will be run in Brisbane from Monday, 11 September to Friday, 15 September.

The courses run consecutively, and you may attend any combination of courses. Details are at:

AIDR Handbook 7 Managing the Floodplain
During Federal Justice Minister the Hon Michael Keenan’s video welcome he launched the latest in the series of Australian Emergency Management publications, Handbook 7 Managing the Floodplain – a Guide to Best Practice in Flood Risk Management in Australia.

Handbook 7 and accompanying guidance is the culmination of over 5 years work by the members of National Flood Risk Advisory Group (NFRAG) of the Australian New Zealand Emergency Management Committee. Funding support was provided by the National Emergency Management Program and input from a range of key industry stakeholders, including Floodplain Management Australia. 

NFRAG Chairman Duncan McLuckie said the recent devastating floods in different areas of Australia again highlight the risks faced by communities when they interact with flooding.

“Handbook 7 and its companion guidance provide governments responsible for managing flooding best practice advice on how to understand and manage flood risk. Studies consistent with best practice provide a sound basis for understanding flood risk and assessing and deciding on management options which may involve flood mitigation, emergency management and land use planning” Mr McLuckie said.

“The latest guidance has focused on the future by supporting the development of better yet more concise flood information so that this can be more readily used in land use planning activities. 

“Having information on flooding considered in land use planning activities can limit both the impacts new development may have on flood behaviour and the impacts that flooding can have on the new development and its occupants.”

Handbook 7 and another relevant document, Handbook 6 – National Strategy for Disaster Resilience – Community Engagement Framework, are available at

2017 FMA Conference Communique
Thanks again to Allan Gear who facilitated the closing National Flood Forum, and thanks to all those who contributed to the session. Allan drew together the key learnings from the Conference, and provided the sobering personal observation that he had been involved a wide range of flood risk management activities over the last 38 years and in that time there have been great advances in the field,  but still people are dying each year in floods. He posed the question “Are you doing enough yet?”

After discussion from the floor the following Conference Communique was unanimously adopted:

“This Conference identifies that all Australian States and Territories experience floods and predict future floods, with inherent risks to life, property and infrastructure, each associated with a social and economic loss.

Collaboratively, Floodplain Management Australia will advocate through the application of science, policy, engagement and innovation for a planned minimisation in those risks and losses.
The future depends on us.”

Gerry Gannon Interviews FMA President
Conference MC Gerry Gannon, who describes himself as Ireland’s greatest export, kept us to time, directed us to our chosen venues, and delivered enlightening commentary as well as providing discerning observations on host city, Newcastle.

During the Conference Gerry found time to interview FMA President Ian Dinham about his passion for making Australians safer from flood. Gerry’s podcast is on his Soundcloud page:
2017 FMA Excellence Awards Winners
The Winners of this year's Floodplain Management Australia Excellence Awards were announced at the Conference Dinner in Newcastle during the National Conference this month.

Allan Ezzy Flood Risk Manager of the Year Award: Sharyon Peart of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Sharyon acted as the Chair of the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy development, setting the direction for floodplain management in Victoria. As Chair, Sharyon was able to steer a clear path forward, achieving policy compromises and managing polarised and opposing views.

Sharyon was the mainstay of the development process, and provided strategic insight and contribution which enabled in-depth engagement from a diverse reference committee which included local councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria, catchment management authorities, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the State Emergency Service, Goulburn Murray water and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Sharyon took a holistic approach to floodplain management and recognised that the community needs to be at the centre of decisions made. Sharyon encouraged the Committee members to be informed of the issues by subject matter experts though discussion papers and presentations. The committee oversaw a process that clarified accountabilities, outlined policies and listed actions that provided an interlocking, sustainable framework for change.

The Strategy outlines a number of key actions to improve the quality and uptake of flood controls. Sharyon led a process that looked at issues and gaps, and identified a pathway to improvement.  Sharyon applied her experience working on the CMA board and Local Government to apply a pragmatic lens to the economic application of land use planning tools.

FMA-NRMA Insurance Flood Risk Manager of the Year Award: Melbourne Water, BMT WBM and Deltares

The often fast onset nature of flooding in some locations in Port Philip and Westerport regions placed enormous stress on Melbourne Water’s flood intelligence modellers to understand and translate evolving and forecast flood behaviour.

The Flood Integrated Decision Support System (FIDSS) developed by BMT WBM, and Deltares makes flood management and forecasting easier, by integrating forecast rainfall, real-time rainfall and river levels, and existing flood models.

The output is highly usable flood maps which provide forecast information at the road-scale, allowing emergency responders to understand where to evacuate houses and close roads.

FIDSS directly interfaces with BoM’s forecasting products and supplies flood intelligence about local conditions back to the BoM to inform their flood warning products.

Melbourne Water are currently developing a public-facing mobile application which will convey critical and timely flood information directly to the community.

The system is built using the Flood Early Warning System which is highly flexible and capable of using and producing a range of data formats to ensure the system is sustainable into the future.

​​​​​​​FMA-NRMA Insurance Flood Risk Management Project of the Year Highly Commended: Lake Macquarie City Council

The Property Flooding Information Summary tool is a free web-based online service for the community, occupiers, home owners, businesses, developers and the like to access flood related information. It provides improved access to site specific ground level and flood information on flood prone land in the City of Lake Macquarie.

There are currently 18, 581 properties in the City which are flood affected and Council holds data relating to land and flood levels for 90% of these properties. Prior to the launch of the tool, residents could only access this data by making an application for a flood certificate for a fee.

The tool was launched in 2016, and is proposed to be enhanced in 2017, with inclusion of building floor levels and an interactive mapping interface to more easily identify properties and illustrate flood hazards such as the predicted 1% flood event.

The tool has assisted people and organisations with development applications, conveyancing, insurance and general flood related advice via a free and more accessible medium than previously available.

​​​​​​​The FMA Excellence Awards will take place again in 2018.
Conference Poster Presentation Winner + Sternbeck Medal

The winner of the 2017 Conference Poster Presentation was Ella Harrison for Punching the Numbers: Are We Doing Enough? 

Ella was presented with a local prize and certificate in recognition for the most outstanding Poster Presentation at the FMA Conference.

The Harold Sternbeck Medal winner will be announced in the next FMA Flyer, with a formal presentation of the Medal and certificate taking place at the NSW/ACT Chapter Meeting in Sydney on 17 August 2017.
Newcastle 2017 Conference Papers Available to Members

The majority of Conference Papers from the 2017 Conference at Newcastle are now available in the Members' Section of

We are uploading content as we receive it, so if you have an outstanding paper or presentation, please send it through to as soon as possible.

The decision to provide exclusive access to FMA Conference Papers and presentations to FMA Members for the first 12 months after the Conference, then to the general public, was made by the Executive Committee after the issue had been raised and discussed by Members.

Any issues concerning this access should be directed to Executive Officer Glenn Evans.

If you are an FMA Member and have not registered for the Members' Section, contact
Press Release: Australia's Largest Gathering of Flood Expertise

28 May 2017
Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) President Ian Dinham has declared the National flood conference held in Newcastle a resounding success.  At the National Flood Forum which concluded the conference Mr Dinham said the presence of almost 400 attendees from 190 organisations was the nation’s largest ever gathering of local and international flood expertise.

“The fact that this conference drew attendees from every state and territory, as well as New Zealand, Singapore, the USA and Viet Nam underlines the serious concerns held about the risks to life and property resulting from floods ” Mr Dinham said. “The conference identified that all Australian States and Territories presently experience flooding and will experience future floods, with inherent risks to life, property and infrastructure, each associated with a social and economic loss. FMA will advocate through the application of science, policy, engagement and innovation for a planned minimisation in those risks and losses.”

“Obviously the best way to avoid the risk of flooding is to not build on the floodplain, however that is not always possible. But by better understanding the risks, and using the technology and expertise available today the risks can be managed.”

“Local Government Councils’ roles in flood risk management have now been made easier following the release of a comprehensive guide by the Commonwealth Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan at the conference. The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience “Managing the Floodplain: Best Practice in Flood Risk Management in Australia” provides a step by step guide to limiting the health, social and financial costs of occupying the floodplain and increasing the sustainable benefits of using the floodplain.”

The handbook provides guidance on undertaking studies to better understand flood risk and decide on management options which may involve flood mitigation, emergency management and land use planning.

Mr Dinham said that using information on flooding in land use planning activities as outlined in the handbook can limit the impacts new development may have on flood behaviour and the impacts that flooding can have on the new development and its occupants.

Mr Dinham congratulated members of National Flood Risk Advisory Group of the Australian New Zealand Emergency Management Committee who worked on preparation of the handbook over a period of five years, with the funding support of the National Emergency Management Program and input from a range of key industry stakeholders, including Floodplain Management Australia.
FMA Conference Featured on NBN News

This month, the FMA National Conference, held at Newcastle, was featured in NBN News.

FMA Executive Officer Glenn Evans, and FMA President Ian Dinham were interviewed during the week, speaking of local flood issues and how to manage future flood risks.

Press Release: Councils Count Flood Costs

15 May 2017
Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) President Ian Dinham has congratulated the Queensland Government on release of the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study, saying it is a great step towards improving the safety of communities of South East Queensland.

“Queensland has progressed enormously in its understanding of flood risks since the devastating floods of 2010 -2011” Mr Dinham said.

“The floodplain mapping carried out across much of Queensland after the floods was of a scale unprecedented in Australia and provided many communities with their first real understanding of flood risk. The complex investigation and flood modelling undertaken for the catchment of the Brisbane River is again of a scale not previously seen for an Australian floodplain, and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and Queensland Government are to be commended for their commitment to better understanding of the potential for flooding.”

“Floods have been recorded in the Brisbane River catchment in the past, but it is essential to know how often large floods are likely to recur, and how far an extreme flood could spread. The expertise of Australian flood consultants and the technology now available are equal to the best in the world, and there is no reason why our communities should be in the dark about flood risk. Flooding is the most deadly and costly natural disaster, but it is also the most manageable” Mr Dinham said.

The annual FMA national conference to be held in Newcastle, New South Wales, this week, has the theme “Preparing for the Next Great Flood”, and it will be attended by around 400 flood risk management professionals from across Australia and overseas. The conference will discuss the Brisbane River catchment study, and hear about recent research into the deadly Lockyer Valley flood.

“The results of the Brisbane River study will provide a solid foundation for the Queensland Government and local Councils prepare for the next great Brisbane River flood” Mr Dinham said. “Now that the extent of the flood problem is known, sound land use planning should prevent further development occurring in high risk areas, and investment in flood mitigation should to be a priority for housing and businesses identified as being at risk. It has been shown time and time again the money spent on appropriate planning and mitigation is many times more effective than paying repeated clean-up and repair costs after floods”.
Risk Frontiers Briefing Note 344: Disaster Risk Management - Insights from US Experience

FMA Member Risk Frontiers has published a new Briefing Note this month, regarding disaster risk management in the United States of America.

Andrew Gissing, of Risk Frontiers, recently visited the United States to attend the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Conference, American Planning Conference, and to confer with FEMA, North Carolina Emergency Management and the University of North Carolina. 

The Briefing Note is availablehere and summarises key insights gained during his overseas visit. 

Press Release: Praise for Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Strategy

8 May 2017
Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) President Ian Dinham has praised the newly released Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy saying it is a significant step towards improving the safety of Western Sydney communities.

“The Hawkesbury –Nepean Valley is home to over 60,000 people who may need to evacuate in a major flood, and that number is growing every year. Alarmingly many of those residents are unaware of the risk, or what to do when a big flood does occur.

“The theme of FMA’s National Conference in Newcastle next week is “Preparing for the Next Great Flood”, and this is exactly what this Strategy is about” Mr Dinham said.

“This year is the 150th anniversary of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River’s great flood of 1867. If this flood were to happen again this year an estimated 5,000 residential properties in parts of Windsor, Richmond, Penrith and Wallacia would be affected, some with water over their roofs. As we have seen with the last month’s floods in northern NSW and Queensland destructive foods still do happen.

“It is satisfying that the NSW Government has thoroughly investigated the flood risk, and now understands its seriousness. An enormous amount of work has gone into the investigation over the last five years, and FMA has been pleased to contribute its expertise to the process.  We congratulate all who have been involved in completing the review” Mr Dinham said.

“The strategy and its recommendations represent an important milestone for flood risk management in Australia. The suite of recommendations including raising the height of Warragamba Dam, managing future flood risk through wise land use planning, and developing an aware, prepared and responsive community will set a standard for flood risk management in Australia.

“Climate change forecasts indicate that the likelihood of flooding will increase with rising global temperatures. The threat of flood is not dissipating - flood risk management initiatives like this must be supported.”

Save the Date for Gold Coast 2018

The 2018 FMA National Conference will be held at Gold Coast, Queensland from 29 May to 1 June 2018 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

City of Gold Coast Council has been a regular participant in FMA Conferences for many years, and has very significant flood challenges.

Delegates would recall that City of Gold Coast won the 2014 FMA-NRMA Insurance Flood Risk Management Project of the Year Award for its Hinze Dam Stage III Post Mitigation Flood Policy.

This Award was accepted by Dr Hamid Mirfenderesk, Coordinator Natural Hazards, who was also awarded the Harold Sternbeck Medal for the best paper and presentation at the 2014 Conference, titled Flood Mitigation Works and Planning Levels, a Policy Rethink; Gold Coast Experience.

The Conference will include informative field trips, exciting networking opportunities and social functions, and outstanding speakers and presentations in the famous Gold Coast setting.

Building on the experiences of our 2013, 2015 and 2017 National Conferences, the expertise of our Professional Conference Organisers East Coast Conferences,  and the local knowledge and enthusiasm of Council representatives, delegates are assumed of another outstanding National Conference in 2018.

Make sure you reserve the Conference in your 2018 calendar and budget now!​​​​​​​

FMA Membership Renewals

It's that time of year again; FMA Membership renewals will be issued in July.

However, if early payment would benefit your organisation, please get in touch so we can issue an invoice before the end of June.

Contact Dominique Jovanovic at

If you are interested in promoting a vacant position with us,
contact us.


The FMA is occasionally contacted by young professionals in fields related to flood risk management seeking introductions to potential employers.

If your business is seeking a new employee please contact us, we may know of someone suitable.


Australasia-Pacific Disaster Management, Recover and Emergency Communications Forum, Christchurch, New Zealand, 16-18 June 2017

International RiverSymposium, Brisbane, Queensland, 18-20 September 2017

The Flood EXPO, London, United Kingdom, 27-28 September 2017

13th Hydraulics in Water Engineering Conference, Sydney, New South Wales, 13-16 November 2017
Where has your FMA Conference Cap been? ​​​​​​​
Pictured: FMA delegates sporting their new FMA Conference Caps during the Harbour Field Trip in Newcastle this month.

Have you got a photo of your travelling FMA Cap? Send us your photos!
 Thanks for reading, and see you next month!
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