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Published: 8 January 2013

Online portal to better inform Australians about flood risk

Geoscience Australia has launched a new online one-stop-shop for flood risk information to assist the community, planners and insurers to access important flood information about their local area.

Brisbane during the disastrous 2011 floods: the portal will give insurers and consumers access to more accurate flood risk information.
Credit: On-Air/istockphoto

Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management, Nicola Roxon, said the National Flood Risk Information Portal will be a critical tool for disaster preparedness.

‘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.’

Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, added: ‘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.

‘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.’

Federal Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill 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.

‘This portal will provide even more information for consumers and help them make more informed choices.’

Geoscience Australia will fully develop the portal 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.

Source: Ministerial media release

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