The new National Centre for Flood Research held an inaugural symposium last week with representatives from local councils in Queensland and NSW, Bureau of Meteorology experts, scientists and community flood impact groups.
The centre is based in the northern NSW town of Lismore and is a collaboration between Southern Cross University and the UNSW Global Water Institute.
Foundation Director Caroline Sullivan says the centre intends to move beyond conventional engineering considerations of flood management by incorporating the impact on people and ecosystems.
She says it will develop an interdisciplinary approach to flood research using global expertise.
Social, economic, legal, ecological and psychological perspectives are relevant to flood research, Professor Sullivan says.
“Any research coming out of a centre like this can provide important insights for other regions, and indeed there is a real potential to support Australia’s contribution to international knowledge on floods and our response to them.”
Professor Edmund Penning-Rowsell, the founder of the UK’s Flood Hazard Research Centre, has also joined the new centre’s advisory board.