Costs and benefits of flood mitigation in Launceston

HazardNOTES

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Royal Park, Launceston, during the June 2016 flood. Photo Flickr upsticksngo_crew
Royal Park, Launceston, during the June 2016 flood. Photo Flickr upsticksngo_crew

With Launceston experiencing severe flooding in June 2016, this research reviewed the costs and benefits of mitigation work (upgraded levees). Flood mitigation is an expensive exercise, and this research highlights the benefits of the flood levee mitigation program.

Findings show that the upgrading of the levee system resulted in avoiding losses of about $216 million (had the pre-existing levees failed), which is approximately four times the total investment in the new levee system. This investment in building the new levee system was found to be a sound economic decision based on the estimated costs at the time of decision making, alongside improved estimates of benefits from this study.

It was found that sea level rise scenarios would only have a limited impact on building losses. However, the combined impact of sea level rise and increased rainfall intensity due to climate change on the total losses may be significantly greater and could be further investigated.

Further reading

Fullard A (2013) Launceston - a city on a floodplain, protecting Launceston from a 1 in 200 ARI flood. Floodplain Management Association National Conference; 19pp.

Maqsood T, Wehner M, Mohanty I, Corby N and Edwards M (2017) Launceston flood risk mitigation assessment, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

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