Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) is the peak national body for flood risk practitioners in Australia. FMA promotes wise management of development on floodplains and community awareness of flood-related issues, helping to reduce the risks of flooding to life and property. FMA represents the interests of Members at local, state and federal government levels. FMA provides professional development and information sharing opportunities for its members. FMA members include over 160 local councils, catchment management authorities, federal, state and territory government agencies, businesses, and professionals involved in all aspects of urban and rural flood risk management.
As well as advocating the benefits of increased investment in flood risk management programs, and more technical support for local government, FMA has over time increasingly sought to shift flood risk planning from being simply the identification of areas where development should not occur, to the promotion of a strategic planning approach which proactively guides appropriate development within floodplain areas.
The annual FMA Conference is the most respected flood risk management event held in Australia. The Conference is a three day event (with an additional day for optional in depth workshops) that has been held annually for over 50 years with a focus on bringing together flood risk managers for information sharing and the setting of visions and priorities for flood risk management across the country.
The Conference generally attracts around 400 practitioners who are working in or interested in flood risk management. Attendees 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. Recent programs have included international contributors from the USA, UK, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Vietnam.
In 2009, in partnership with the then NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), FMA initiated Australia’s first industry-based flood risk management course tailored to the needs of technical and land use planning practitioners, as well as elected council representatives. The program is conducted by UTS, FMA, NSW State Emergency Service and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and participants regularly include practitioners from outside New South Wales.
FMA now has Members in all states and territories of Australia.
More recently, FMA has developed a significant national presence, participating in initiatives such as the National Resilience Taskforce, National Floods Forum, National Flood Risk Advisory Group, the National Workshop on Temporary Flood Barriers, the Planning Institute of Australia's Post Disaster Flood Planning Seminars held in Queensland and New South Wales, and the New South Wales Flood Warning Consultative Committee.
FMA, formerly the Floodplain Management Association, has come a long way from when it was originally established in 1961 when four coastal flood mitigation authorities met at the Maitland Town Hall to share ideas and technical solutions to flooding, and to explore avenues for mutual assistance. This role has grown to encompass promotion of the wise management of floodplains, provision of professional development and information sharing opportunities and representation of the interests of local government at state and federal levels.
For more information about joining Floodplain Management Australia's ever-increasing network of flood risk professionals, please visit our Membership page.