Relocation Case Study


Situated within the Lockyer Valley in Queensland, Grantham supports a thriving agricultural community that is vital as one of the nation's primary food production hubs. In 2011, the Lockyer Valley faced a major flood, triggered by a severe storm that sent a wave of water down the Ranges from Toowoomba, devastating towns in its path including Grantham, situated on Lockyer Creek. The floods resulted in the tragic loss of twenty-one lives. In Grantham, nearly every house of the floodplain sustained structural damage, with 29 destroyed, and 130 severely damaged.

In response to these impacts, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, in collaboration with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, initiated the Grantham Development Scheme (GDS). Funding from both the Federal and State Government supported this comprehensive effort, addressing future flood risk, the needs of disadvantaged community members, the devaluation of land and property, and the availability of housing lots safe from future floods.

The GDS implemented new planning measures and acquired 377 hectares of land, which was subdivided into housing lots and designated for other community requirements. This allowed for the exchange of abandoned lots for more viable alternatives. The Queensland Reconstruction Authority expedited housing construction, and the first families were successfully relocated eleven months after building works commenced.

In meeting the immediate needs of the community, the relocation process was regarded as a success. However, it is essential to acknowledge that some individuals did not receive financial or relocation support and were left on the floodplain. The process represented a crucial step in addressing immediate challenges, but the need for sustained efforts and comprehensive solutions remains apparent, especially for those who continue to reside in vulnerable areas.