The heavy rainfall and mega floods of Autumn 2022 devastated local communities, wildlife and landscapes across southeast Queensland and northern NSW. Many of the areas that were the hardest hit were still recovering from the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires which followed many years of drought. Together, these climate disasters have resulted in widescale damage which will take years – and in some cases decades – to recover from.
With an established network of regionally based partnerships in priority locations, the Great Eastern Ranges is well-positioned to work with first responders to plan and build a strategic, long-term approach to recovery that complements and builds on existing efforts. These projects were developed in response to feedback and advice from practitioners on the ground about local needs and priorities. By rolling out linked flood recovery efforts in multiple locations, the outcomes combine to create an impact that reaches far beyond the individual property level.
Flood recovery efforts include:
- Providing resources and support to enable our regional partnerships to carry out rapid ‘health checks’ of flood impacted sites.
- Identifying priority sites for restoration efforts and release of injured wildlife post-care.
- Planting trees, shrubs and grasses and installing nest boxes and artificial hollows to replace lost habitat.
- Removing waste, plastic, debris and sources of pollutants from key waterways.
- Managing major threats that hamper the natural recovery of our landscapes and ecosystems, such as weed invasion and streambank erosion.
- Repairing flood damaged fences.
- Using cutting edge science to better understand flood behaviour and impact to guide future resilience planning.
- Trialling the use of a new disaster recovery app to record valuable information on flood impact and emerging threats to inform restoration efforts.
- Connecting regional partnerships with local psychosocial support services for landholders in need.
- Starting an open dialogue with communities on the best ways to respond to and recover from future climate disasters and build resilience.