Push for compulsory flood risk insights

Published 1:00pm 5 August 2022

Push for compulsory flood risk insights
Words by Jodie Powell

Mandatory disclosure of flood and other natural hazard risks for properties could be introduced across the state if Moreton Bay Regional Council has its way.

The plan is one of four motions Council will present at the 2022 Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Conference seeking the support of the state’s 76 other councils.

At the October conference Moreton Bay will move the motion “That the LGAQ advocate to the Queensland Government to investigate a pathway for mandatory disclosure of flood and other natural hazard risks in all property transactions”.

Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway (Div 4), a former real estate agent, said making pre-purchase flood checks compulsory would empower buyers to make informed decisions.

Speaking at this week’s Council meeting, Cr Shipway said that in the wake of floods earlier this year she had met many homebuyers who had not checked the flood status of their properties.

“This is so disappointing that still, after the amount of disasters we have seen, that something like that is not a mandatory check,” Cr Shipway said.

Empowering buyers

“I particularly go to one couple in Major St in Deception Bay – a young couple who have done an amazing job, bought their first home , love where they live – only to have not done a flood check and it would have shown that it was an issue.

“However, you’re young, you’re looking to buy a home, you’re looking to save money where you can and that’s only going to get tougher for these people.

|“I mean for God’s sake, it’s a natural disaster and it should be a mandatory check that the conveyancers have to pass on the information.|

“I think the key is they must pass the information on – they should not be making the judgement – it should be up to the purchaser to make that judgement.”

Councillor Matt Constance (Div 10) agreed.

“We really do need the State Government to step up and change the conveyancing laws around this to make sure that the information is provided to residents across Queensland,” he said.

“It’s been a bug-bear of mine, especially because this council does provide the information free, that it has not been included in a compulsory manner in so many conveyancing reports.”

Among the motions Council will take to the LGAQ Conference in October is to ask the LGAQ to advocate for Fringe Benefits Tax concession for local government employees (excluding councillors), to allow councils to attract and retain high quality employees.

The other two motions

*The LGAQ call on the State Government to ensure Regional Infrastructure Plans are:

  • Developed in close consultation with local government; ­
  • Aligned with the relevant statutory regional plans; and ­
  • Recognised by all state agencies as the key whole-of-government driver for state infrastructure delivery in each region.

*That the LGAQ call on the State Government to ensure alignment of Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, Defamation Act 2005, the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001, and the Local Government Act 2009.

This will ensure protections for Councillors responding in good faith against claims from integrity agencies to participate in Councillor conduct complaints investigations as part of the obligations under the Local Government Act.

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