The FMA Conference has been held annually for over 50 years and is the most respected flood risk management event held in Australia. This was the 3rd Floodplain Management Australia National Conference and was held in Newcastle, NSW.
The conference marked the tenth anniversary of the "Pasha Bulker" storm, and extensive flooding which occurred in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. The bulk cargo ship "Pasha Bulker" made global headlines after running aground on Newcastle Beach during the wild storm, and features in the 2017 Conference logo. The conference featured improvements to flood risk management since 2007, inspections of the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme and the Newcastle Flash Flood Alert Service, which is the first of its kind in New South Wales.
2017 is also the 150th anniversary of the great flood which took place along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River in 1867. It is therefore appropriate that the theme for this year's conference is "Preparing for the Next Great Flood", which looks at applying lessons from past floods and overcoming the challenges to helping our communities avoid future disasters.
This conference attracted nearly 400 practitioners who are working in or interested in floodplain risk management. Attendees will include Commonwealth, State and Local Government representatives, research organisations and education providers as well as consultants, engineers, land-use planners, emergency responders and community volunteer organisations.
The conference included outstanding Australian and international keynote speakers, plenary and concurrent presentations, a Local Government Councillors' session, national forum, field trips addressing floodplain issues in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, as well as networking events. Optional conference workshops on topical issues were held on the Tuesday.
Read the FMA President Ian Dinham's Opening Address here.