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Natural disasters: Preparation and recovery

Alerts and updates

For disaster updates and general information relating to disaster situations in Queensland:

Safety

Gas safety

Ensure everyone in your household knows where, how and when to turn off gas supply in case of evacuation.

Before you reconnect or turn on gas appliances, ensure all LPG or natural gas installations are checked by a licensed fitter. (PDF, 271.0KB)

Never use outdoor appliances such as butane cookers or BBQs indoors. They need adequate ventilation to operate safely—a build-up of gas can cause an explosion.

Read more about gas safety.

Explosives

If involved in a clean-up after an emergency or disaster (e.g. fires or floods) you may discover dangerous objects such as explosives.

If you possess or find explosives, don't touch them, secure the area and call the Explosives Inspectorate on 1300 739 868 (24 hour emergency response hotline) or call the Police on 131 555.

Read more about what to do with explosives found after emergencies and disasters.

Repairs not requiring approval or permit

Stock and domestic pumps

If you own land adjoining a watercourse, lake or spring, you can take water for domestic and stock purposes without an entitlement.

You may need to apply for a development permit before starting work to install a pump capable of a greater maximum rate, or a like-for-like pump in a new location.

Read more about replacing pumping equipment lost or damaged by flood.

Groundwater pumps and spears

You can replace a pump damaged or lost due to flood.

Read more about replacing pumping equipment lost or damaged by flood.

Replacing or repairing other pumps

If you own land in a declared disaster area, you can replace an authorised pump damaged or lost due to flood with an identical one at the same location. Unauthorised pumps cannot be replaced.

Read more about replacing pumping equipment lost or damaged by flood.

Replacing a water bore

You may need to replace a water bore that has been damaged by floodwater.

Replacement water bores for taking or interfering with water outside the Great Artesian Basin plan area are considered exempt development.

Read more about repairs to groundwater bores and spears.

In-stream dams, weirs and gravity diversions—minor damage

Damage to authorised dams, weirs and gravity diversion pipelines and channels may be repaired if licence conditions are met.

Read more about repairs to in-stream dams, weirs and gravity diversions.

Authorised water infrastructure

You can clear and desilt around infrastructure including pumps, weirs and dams. You do not need a permit where the clearing and desilting are an unavoidable part of repairing authorised infrastructure.

The work must be minor in nature and done in a way that minimises any potential damage.

Read more about repairs to in-stream dams, weirs and gravity diversions.

Repairs to overland flow structures

Overland flow water is water (including floodwater) that flows over land (outside of a watercourse or lake) after having fallen as rain or after rising to the surface naturally from underground. Structures include gully dams, ring tanks, flow-concentrating channels, and retaining walls that can redirect and take overland flow water.

Works to take overland flow water can be maintained and repaired in regulated areas without further approvals, provided:

  • the works are not altered so they store more water
  • the specifications still meet the details provided in overland flow notifications, certifications or licences.

Read more about repairs to overland flow structures.

Watercourse emergency earthworks

You can excavate or place fill in a watercourse if there is an emergency involving:

  • the life or health of a person
  • water quality
  • the physical integrity of the watercourse.

You must notify your local business centre of the activity as soon as practicable.

Read more about the impacts of disasters on watercourses.

Removing debris

You can remove debris without an authorisation.

Read more about removing debris.

Rehabilitating a watercourse

You may need to undertake work involving excavating or placing fill in a watercourse.

This can be done if a riverine protection permit has been granted or in accordance with the exemption requirements.

Ensure sediment is disposed of outside the watercourse (i.e. outside the outer banks).

Read more about rehabilitating watercourses.

Repairs requiring approval or permit

De-silting bores and spears

If you need to undertake drilling operations to de-silt or clean out an existing bore or spear you will need a development permit if these operations would result in a change to the aquifer.

Read more about repairs to groundwater bores and spears.

In-stream dams, weirs and gravity diversions—major damage or replacement

The reconstruction or replacement of original infrastructure due to flood damage may require development approval.

Read more about repairs to in-stream dams, weirs and gravity diversions.

Impacts on fish passages

Any barriers in a watercourse that interfere with fish passage will require approval.

Read more about rehabilitating watercourses.

Vegetation clearing

To find out what clearing you can do on your property following a natural disaster:

Leasehold rent relief

Graziers and small business owners in disaster-affected areas may be eligible for a deferral of leasehold land rent.

Flood mapping

A Flood mapping implementation kit is available to assist councils and local disaster management groups better implement the outcomes of flood studies. It aims to increase the use of flood mapping outputs, improving the community's understanding of their exposure to flood risk and therefore strengthening economic and community resilience.

Land valuations

Read about the impact of adverse natural disasters on land valuations.

Contact us

Phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or contact our business centres.

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Last updated: 22 December 2015


The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is an economic development agency that enables the productive and responsible use of our natural resources – water, land, mineral and energy resources – to generate wealth and prosperity for current and future generations of Queenslanders.

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