Technical review process, updating new levels and flood insurance

Council understands that ground levels, floor levels and flood levels for a property may change over time as our city and individual properties are developed. Should you wish to provide Council with updated levels, please use the review process outlined here. These updated levels may also change how flooding impacts your property and your property’s insurance.

Technical review process 

If you believe that Council’s flood study or flood mapping is incorrect you can dispute this through a formal process. It is important to understand the limitations of the presented information (e.g. date of ground survey versus recent new property developments). 

Request a review of flood levels

To request a review of the flood levels in the FloodWise Property Report or any amendments in the Flood Awareness Map for your property, please write to Council and provide supporting evidence such as: 

  • certified survey levels (ground levels or floor levels) 
  • as-constructed development plans
  • hydraulic assessments or flood studies certified by an RPEQ or
  • any previous correspondence from Council relating to this issue. 

To send your request, you can:

  • email Council
  • write to: 
    Flood Information Officer
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001. 

    Update surveyed levels

    If you believe that the ground levels for a property are incorrect, you may request an update with Council.  

    Important note: Technical evidence will be required to support any updates. Any observational evidence, such as not having seen your property flood or the property no flooding in 1974, 2011 and 2022 is not considered technical evidence.

    Request an update to ground or floor levels

    To request an update to ground or floor levels you will need to:

    • submit a letter requesting to change/update the property levels shown in the FloodWise Property Report
    • include ground or floor level information certified by a licensed surveyor
    • include a declaration of the lowest and highest ground levels on the property from a surveyor.

    To dispute design flood level information you will need to:

    • submit a letter requesting to change/update the property levels shown in the FloodWise Property Report
    • provide a catchment-wide flood risk assessment undertaken by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) based on the latest Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) guidelines (same guidelines used by Brisbane City Council)
    • provide details of significant flood mitigation works affecting the area in question. The submission should demonstrate the flood mitigation works provide flood immunity corresponding to the % AEP events indicated in the flood map
    • include ground level information certified by a licensed surveyor.

    Note: Council’s two flood mapping products include the City Plan Flood Overlay Map and the Flood Awareness Map. The City Plan Flood Overlay Map is used for building and development purposes, whereas the Flood Awareness Map is used for general information. Please note that the Flood Awareness Maps can be changed to reflect new ground levels as Council obtains a new LiDAR* survey (every few years). After the next LiDAR survey cycle, the new ground levels will be captured and updated in Council’s flood products. The City Plan Flood Overlay Map requires an amendment to the City Plan, which is only done when Council undertakes a new Flood Study.

    *Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser (in this case affixed to an aeroplane) to measure ranges (variable distances) to the earth. From this data we prepare our maps of ground levels.

    You are welcome to show potential buyers any plans and letters indicating the new finished ground levels. These plans/letters should be signed by a certified surveyor.

    If you would like to request a review of the FloodWise Property Report for your property, you can:

    • email Council
    • write to: 
      Flood Information Officer
      Brisbane City Council
      GPO Box 1434
      Brisbane Qld 4001. 

      Flood insurance

      Brisbane City Council has no control over how insurance companies determine and calculate premiums for flood risk.

      You can contact your insurance company directly to find out how the premium is calculated. You may wish to provide copies of Council’s flood information products to better inform discussions with your insurer. 

      Note:The Planning Scheme for Brisbane acts as a guide to control future sustainable development and building in the city. It is not intended to be used for insurance or valuation purposes.  Flood risk is only one of the factors affecting home insurance premiums. Premiums also consider other risk factors such as building type, building age, security and vulnerability to other natural hazards such as cyclones, bushfire, storms, earthquakes etc. 

      Insurance companies have access to flood risk data from a number of sources, including the National Flood Information Database (NFID), and may use their own flood mapping to determine premiums relating to flood risk. 

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