In the face of imminent flooding, the city of Maryborough showcased a model of urban resilience and effective disaster management with its strategic deployment of the Geodesign Heavy Duty Flood Barriers, known locally as the CBD Levee. This narrative of Maryborough's flood defence highlights the importance of preparation, training, and community engagement in managing natural disasters.
In November 2019, recognising the recurrent threat of flooding, the Local Disaster Management Group initiated a comprehensive training exercise for the newly acquired 2.4m high temporary levee. This exercise, led by Deputy Chairman Councillor Stuart Taylor, was aimed at ensuring rapid and effective deployment of the levee in a flood scenario. The training was part of a broader strategy to enhance the city's flood resilience.
As floodwaters began to threaten, the foresight in training and preparation proved invaluable. The levee was swiftly erected along strategic points in the CBD, including Adelaide Street. Despite an initial challenge earlier in the year, where a malfunction in an underground gate allowed floodwater to encroach, the rapid response by the teams rectified the issue in time for the subsequent floods. Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour provided real-time updates to the community, detailing the rising waters and the levee's effectiveness.
The success of the levee in protecting the CBD extended beyond its technical achievement. It bolstered the morale of the community, safeguarding not just properties and infrastructure, but also instilling a sense of security among residents and business owners.
This experience in Maryborough underscores the critical role of proactive planning, community engagement, and adaptive infrastructure in the era of climate change. The city's effective management of the flood levee system sets a precedent for urban flood defence, offering valuable lessons for municipalities worldwide facing similar environmental challenges.
Maryborough's journey through these challenging times stands as a testament to the power of foresight, training, and community resilience. The city's adept handling of the flood situation transforms a potential disaster into a story of triumph and collective spirit, highlighting how well-prepared communities can effectively mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.