In January 2011 a series of floods hit Australia, primarily in Queensland. The small town of Grantham, 100km west of Brisbane, was particularly hard hit when sudden flash flood raced through its CBD. A downpour in the nearby catchment areas of the Lockyer Valley saw a larger torrent of water sweep through the valley, destroying properties and resulting in the loss of 12 lives.
Nearly two years after the event, most have not forgotten, but look forward to a brighter future with a new Grantham being established on a flood free development. In an unprecedented move, and a first for Australia, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) purchased private land adjoining the existing Grantham township to permanently relocate the town, offering residents the opportunity to move to higher, safer ground. A land swap ballot was arranged where flood affected residents could swap land for a site in the new estate for affected residents.
Commissioned as the Lead Consultant (Project Manager) and working closely with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Cardno managed the preparation of Grantham’s Master Plan. Whilst the ‘Strengthening Grantham’ planning process proceeded, detailed engineering reporting and designs were underway which allowed a fast tracked construction of the new community.
Stage 1, the relocation phase, involved concept planning, detailed subdivisional design and construction of 80 fully serviced large allotments within an eight-month period, which was an unprecedented achievement. Cardno worked closely with LVRC, government and the community to ensure the target of some residents living in their homes on the new estate by Christmas 2011 (11 months after the flood) was met.
Cardno’s subsequent work to rebuild lives and homes in Grantham has been recognised with two excellence awards by leading industry bodies – the UDIA (Urban Development Institute Australia) and the IPWEAQ (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, Queensland).