Reaching new heights
THE worst-case scenario for climate change, combined with the height of the highest wave in a cyclonic storm surge, have been used to set a much higher minimum floor height for new homes built at Cooloola Cove and Tin Can Bay.
Flood lines adopted by Gympie Regional Council last week for fresh and saltwater floods on the Cooloola Coast and throughout the region were based on the worst case climate change scenario developed by state experts.
Some home owners - it is unclear how many - who previously thought their properties were out of reach of a 25.22m flood might now find themselves beneath that line thanks to more accurate maths and computer modelling.
The council has emphasised that the new 100-year flood levels are estimates only, and that each flood is different, depending on where most of the rain falls and other factors.
It has also emphasised that some future floods, one in 500 year events for example, will exceed 25.22m.
The flood lines have been established simply to guide future building development in the region.
Gympie insurance broker Reg Leis said yesterday properties below the 100-year flood line, and even the 50-year flood line, are still able to obtain flood insurance in Gympie.
He said some Queensland towns subject to regular flooding, such as Roma, could not get flood insurance, but that there was not a business or a residence in Gympie he could not obtain insurance for.
Property owners in flood zones would likely face higher premiums though.
"Every case is taken on its own merit," Mr Leis said. "There is no blanket rule."