FMA Excellence Awards 2017
The Floodplain Management Australia Excellence Awards are designed to publicly recognise the outstanding contribution of FMA organisations and individuals towards promoting wise land use planning, reducing flood impacts, managing flood incidents or restoring communities after a flood event.
Nominations were open to any current FMA Member, or individual who is an employee or representative of an FMA Member, and this year's Winners announced at the 2017 FMA National Conference Dinner in Newcastle.
ALLAN EZZY FLOOD RISK MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Sharyon Peart of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Sharyon acted as the Chair of the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy development, setting the direction for floodplain management in Victoria. As Chair, Sharyon was able to steer a clear path forward, achieving policy compromises and managing polarised and opposing views.
Sharyon was the mainstay of the development process, and provided strategic insight and contribution which enabled in-depth engagement from a diverse reference committee which included local councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria, catchment management authorities, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the State Emergency Service, Goulburn Murray water and the Bureau of Meteorology.
Sharyon took a holistic approach to floodplain management and recognised that the community needs to be at the centre of decisions made. Sharyon encouraged the Committee members to be informed of the issues by subject matter experts though discussion papers and presentations. The committee oversaw a process that clarified accountabilities, outlined policies and listed actions that provided an interlocking, sustainable framework for change.
The Strategy outlines a number of key actions to improve the quality and uptake of flood controls. Sharyon led a process that looked at issues and gaps, and identified a pathway to improvement. Sharyon applied her experience working on the CMA board and Local Government to apply a pragmatic lens to the economic application of land use planning tools.
FMA-NRMA INSURANCE FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Melbourne Water, BMT WBM and Deltares
The often fast onset nature of flooding in some locations in Port Philip and Westerport regions placed enormous stress on Melbourne Water’s flood intelligence modellers to understand and translate evolving and forecast flood behaviour.
The Flood Integrated Decision Support System (FIDSS) developed by BMT WBM, and Deltares makes flood management and forecasting easier, by integrating forecast rainfall, real-time rainfall and river levels, and existing flood models.
The output is highly usable flood maps which provide forecast information at the road-scale, allowing emergency responders to understand where to evacuate houses and close roads.
FIDSS directly interfaces with BoM’s forecasting products and supplies flood intelligence about local conditions back to the BoM to inform their flood warning products.
Melbourne Water are currently developing a public-facing mobile application which will convey critical and timely flood information directly to the community.
The system is built using the Flood Early Warning System which is highly flexible and capable of using and producing a range of data formats to ensure the system is sustainable into the future.
Highly Commended: Lake Macquarie City Council
The Property Flooding Information Summary tool is a free web-based online service for the community, occupiers, home owners, businesses, developers and the like to access flood related information. It provides improved access to site specific ground level and flood information on flood prone land in the City of Lake Macquarie.
There are currently 18, 581 properties in the City which are flood affected and Council holds data relating to land and flood levels for 90% of these properties. Prior to the launch of the tool, residents could only access this data by making an application for a flood certificate for a fee.
The tool was launched in 2016, and is proposed to be enhanced in 2017, with inclusion of building floor levels and an interactive mapping interface to more easily identify properties and illustrate flood hazards such as the predicted 1% flood event.
The tool has assisted people and organisations with development applications, conveyancing, insurance and general flood related advice via a free and more accessible medium than previously available.
The FMA Excellence Awards will take place again in 2018.