Strengthening Grantham

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Beginning in late 2010 a series of floods hit Australia, primarily in the state of Queensland, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities. At least 70 towns were affected, with a damage bill initially estimated at around A$1 billion. Three-quarters of Queensland was declared a disaster zone.

The small town of Grantham, 100km west of Brisbane, was particularly hard hit when an unexpected flash flood raced through its central business district in January 2011.

Extreme rainfall intensities in the nearby catchment areas of the Lockyer Valley sent a huge torrent of water and debris through the town without warning. Grantham was inundated, and many houses and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged. One house was swept two kilometres downstream and deposited in a paddock. Cars were jammed against a railway bridge like small toys. Nineteen people in the Lockyer Valley lost their lives that day and residents will never forget the devastation wrought on their township.

After facing such devastation in their hometown, Grantham residents would soon be faced with a brighter future. The Queensland Government and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council took the unprecedented step of purchasing private land adjoining the existing Grantham Township in order to permanently relocate the Town and its residents to higher ground.

Road before before asphalt being laid

Cardno was commissioned as the Lead Consultant in April 2011 to manage the delivery of this significant project. Our team managed the preparation of the Grantham Master Plan, which was incorporated in the Development Scheme by Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) in July 2011.

While the planning process proceeded, detailed engineering reporting and designs were underway, allowing construction of the first 80 lots to begin as soon as the Development Scheme took effect in July 2011, with completion including some housing by December 2011.

“In the space of seven months, we delivered 3.5 kilometres of roadworks, a new water reservoir, a new sewage treatment plant, a recreation park and a new subdivision with 80 allotments for the people of Grantham after council took the initiative and acquired 900 acres of land,” APAC Operations Manager, Robbie Marshall said.

“The entire project was delivered with a true spirit of partnership with Lockyer Valley Regional Council, which is how we achieved what we did so quickly.”
Members of the Rebuilding Grantham team with the then QLD Premier, Anna Bligh with Mayor Steve Jones.

Cardno’s important role in this development and the commitment demonstrated by the team to complete the project in record time certainly didn’t go unrecognised. In 2012, Cardno and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council took home the UDIA Awards for Excellence for the category Consultancy Excellence. Our team was also the 2012 winner of the Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Awards Queensland in the Leadership category.

“For Cardno to contribute to the successful relocation of the affected residents and reinvigorate their town, it was an extremely humbling experience and speaks to the core of the engineering and development industry. This project for me signifies our purpose for making a difference.”

Cardno’s continuing involvement with Council over the years allowed further development of the site to incorporate 500 new allotments including a new commercial centre, industrial zone, a new school and other associated community facilities. More jobs were created and further development attracted new residents and tourists back to the region.

Now in our 75th year of operation, we are proud to continue partnering with Councils who share the vision of accelerating long-term resilience and community spirit. We thank our local governments for choosing Cardno as their preferred supplier through unprecedented times, just as we have recently experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak. 


Person looking at Cardno 75 Years website page

75 years of great people, 75 years of community-defining projects and 75 years of making a difference. Make sure you check out the other moments in our history!

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