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Water fallout

The Gympie Regional Council adopted the 100-year flood levels last week following a long and comprehensive study of the whole region's waterways.
The Gympie Regional Council adopted the 100-year flood levels last week following a long and comprehensive study of the whole region's waterways. Craig Warhurst

PROPERTY values inside Gympie's 100-year flood zone are expected to suffer, but getting flood insurance may not be as hard as some think.

Land that new mapping has revealed will go under water in a 25+ metre flood will be worth less because it will be harder to sell and harder to borrow money for to buy, valuer Blair Fuller said yesterday.

The new flood lines are not expected to create many, if any, surprises in Gympie itself but it could be a different story further out where one in 100-year flood levels have never been done before.

The Gympie Regional Council adopted the 100-year flood levels last week following a long and comprehensive study of the whole region's waterways.

Mr Fuller said a property's inclusion below that flood line would definitely impact on its value.

"You are going to basically have less buyers looking at your house," he said. "Even if they really liked your house some people are just not even going to look at it if it's below that line.

"The same with lending institutions: they are not going to be looking at it favourably."

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."

Topics:  flood insurance flood zone map

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