The Lower Johnstone River region is a primary industry based economy
serviced by a number of townships, the largest being Innisfail. The region
comprises predominantly floodplain lands used for sugar cane, banana and
pastoral activities. During flooding under existing conditions,
activities sustain substantial flood damage, reflecting the location of
these activities in the floodplain.
Damages are not limited to the agricultural sector with significant
damages also occurring to residential property, businesses and public
infrastructure, particularly in larger floods.
Flood damages are classified as tangible or intangible, reflecting the
ability to assign monetary values. Intangible damages arise from adverse
social and environmental effects caused by flooding, including factors
such as loss of life and limb, stress and anxiety.
Tangible damages are monetary losses directly attributable to flooding.
They may occur as direct or indirect flood damages. Direct flood damages
result from the actions of floodwaters, inundation and flow, on property
structures. Indirect damages arise from the disruptions to physical and
economic activities caused by flooding. Examples are the loss of sales,
reduced productivity and the cost of alternative travel if road and rail
links are broken.
For the purposes of this assessment, flood damages are classified into the
Urban Damages (residential, commercial and
Urban damages in the Johnstone Rivers system are concentrated in the
Innisfail region and
Mourilyan. However, this analysis also includes damage to residential
properties outside of these
townships such as smaller communities and farm houses.
The damage to urban areas is principally to property and can be
categorised into residential,
commercial and industrial sectors.
Infrastructure damages includes damages to telephone, electricity, roads,
rail, flood structures and
other public utilities.
Example Road Damage
There are a number of intangible costs of flooding to the community
including the following:
loss of life and limb;
preparedness (cost of flood warning, planning, community
stress and anxiety;
These intangible damages are not easily quantifiable and have not been
included in the monetary
assessment of flood damages.