After the January floods ravaged parts of Ipswich councillors and community members have finally had their voices heard.

Today when the Flood Inquiry moved to the city many agreed warnings to evacuate came too late, if at all.

Kayla Brereton reports.


More than eight and a half thousand properties were affected when Ipswich was swamped in the January floods.

Homes were destroyed, roads were ripped up, and lives were lost.

But somehow no one saw it coming.

Paul Tully, Ipswich City Councillor: “I have spoken to well over a thousand people since the 1974 flood in the Goodna area and it was very common for people to think that it would not flood again.”

Instead many people believed in the “Wivenhoe Syndrome”.

Reg O’Day, Ipswich Resident: “It is the belief that with the bringing of the Wivenhoe Dam into service all future floods will be prevented.”

The Inquiry heard many residents failed to receive help during the floods. These included not being able to contact the council, not being provided with food or a bed and also not having a proper evacuation plan.

Pastor Paulo Paulo who sheltered more than 80 people in his Centre was shocked with the situation.

Pastor Paulo Paulo, Riverview Evacuation Centre: “During the time what I found out was that there was no evacuation plan, there was no door knocking as such, what is the go there?”

Today’s sitting accepted numerous suggestions on how the community could escape much of the trauma of the January floods.

Paul Tully, Ipswich City Councillor: “We have a warning category similar to cyclones; category one to five, five being extreme and catastrophic. So if there was a category five flood coming people would understand that that is a very serious flood.”

These and other concerns will be considered by the flood commission in the coming months. But for now our attention will turn to Rockhampton next week.

Kayla Brereton QUT News.