A new online one-stop-shop for flood risk information will be available from today to assist the community, planners and insurers to access important flood information about their local area.
In launching the National Flood Risk Information Portal with Geoscience Australia, Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon and Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson said the Portal will be a critical tool in our disaster preparedness kit.
“The National Flood Risk Information Portal will be a valuable resource for helping communities better prepare for flood disasters,” Ms Roxon said.
“Easy access to flood risk information will give communities and planners a better understanding of their exposure to floods, as well as assist insurers in developing fair and reasonable policies.
“While disasters can be unpredictable, we can all be better prepared and this is just one way the Gillard Government is doing its bit to help Australian communities be disaster ready.”
Minister Ferguson said the Portal is part of the $12 million, four-year National Flood Risk Information Project initiated by the Australian Government in response to the Natural Disaster Insurance Review.
“The Portal will use satellite imagery to map floods and will be supported by national guidelines to assist holders of flood risk information to make their flood studies and maps available through the Portal,” Minister Ferguson said.
“These guidelines, in conjunction with the recently announced agreement between Geoscience Australia and Engineers Australia to finalise the revision of the Australian Rainfall and Runoff guide, will drive improvements in the consistency and quality of flood studies.”
Minister Shorten welcomed the Portal as another step to providing more information to help consumers make informed decisions about insurance.
"The Government has already introduced a standard definition of flood for insurance and a one page key facts sheet to help Australian consumers understand what they are insured for,” Mr Shorten said.
"This Portal will provide even more information for consumers and help them make more informed choices."
Geoscience Australia will host the Portal, which will be fully developed over four years, with updates in November each year prior to the summer season.
The first phase of the Portal development includes an updated Australian Flood Studies Database with enhanced search functionality and a ‘Google maps’ style interface.
“We are working towards a Portal that will provide a single access point through which users can see all available flood maps and studies to assess whether they are in an area at risk of flooding,” Minister Ferguson said.
The Project directly supports implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, which emphasises the importance of building community resilience to reducing the impact of natural disasters.
“This Portal is an important step towards building a more resilient Australia, by making us better informed about disaster risk,” Ms Roxon said.
The National Flood Risk Information Portal is at http://www.ga.gov.au/flood-study-search/