2017: Cyclone Debbie's influence went far and wide, with floods rcorded in Lismore.
2017: Cyclone Debbie's influence went far and wide, with floods rcorded in Lismore.

Page declared the most flood-affected electorate in NSW

THE electorate of Page is the most flood-prone electorate in NSW, according to research by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

The analysis reveals Australia's 20 most flood-affected federal electorates. Sixteen of these are in Queensland and four are in New South Wales.

Page sits at number six, the first NSW electorate on the list, with 26,067 land parcels exposed to flooding.

Page covers an area from Sapphire Beach in the south to Nimbin in the north on the coastal side, and from Nymboida in the south to the Queensland border on the inland side.

The main areas in the electorate include Casino, Dunoon, Evans Head, Grafton, Iluka, Kyogle, Lismore, Nimbin, Sapphire Beach and Wooli.

The list published by the ICA's research was topped by the electorate of Herbert (Queensnland) with 55,460 land parcels exposed.

ICA General Manager of Risk and Disaster Planning Karl Sullivan said the research highlighted the importance of understanding flood risk.

He said it was a wake-up call to all levels of government about the urgent need to prioritise investments in flood mitigation.

Mr Sullivan said each electorate contained locations that had a significant number of land parcels exposed to flood probabilities ranging from the most frequent to the largest possible flood.

"The ICA has analysed official flood data, collated from governments across Australia for the industry's National Flood information Database, and has matched it against federal electoral boundaries for ease of comparison," Mr Sullivan said.

"Flood risk is one key reason why many householders and businesses in these electorates may pay high insurance premiums.

"With a NSW election due this weekend, and a Federal election due in May, it's time voters asked their local MPs and other candidates one simple yet essential question: 'What are you planning to do to lower our flood risk?' "

Mr Sullivan said each of the top 20 electorates had experienced catastrophic flooding over the past decade, and many had the double-whammy of being struck by cyclones.

"Some communities within these federal electorates are governed by local councils with comprehensive flood-risk mitigation programs. Others may lack the capacity and funding to carry out the required work," he said.

Mr Sullivan said the ICA was well placed to help governments with information about the impact mitigation would have on insurance premiums.

"The insurance market has demonstrated it is prepared to insure all properties in flood-prone areas, but cover is risk rated. Property owners with the highest risks typically face the highest premiums. Where those risks are reduced or removed, the market has followed suit with lower premiums," he said.

The top 20 electorates (by the number of land parcels exposed):

1. Herbert (QLD) 55,460

2. Kennedy (QLD) 35,284

3. Maranoa (QLD) 31,452

4. Blair (QLD) 27,310

5. Flynn (QLD) 26,560

6. Page (NSW) 26,067

7. Fadden (QLD) 25,881

8. Leichardt (QLD) 25,424

9. Griffith (QLD) 24,988

10. Moreton (QLD) 24,940

11. Brisbane (QLD) 24,603

12. Oxley (QLD) 22,469

13. Moncrief (QLD) 21,592

14. Dawson (QLD) 21,392

15. Newcastle (NSW) 20,078

16. McPherson (QLD) 19,205

17. Ryan (QLD) 17,861

18. Wide Bay (QLD) 17,142

19. Lyne (NSW) 16,041

20. Dobell (NSW) 15,857