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Five minutes with Bundaberg BP Bill Moorhead

The UDIA has reached out to Bundaberg Branch President, Bill Moorhead, to share his account and recovery efforts from the 2013 Bundaberg floods to share with our members in Townsville. Below is an extract from Bill’s account of that event:

“On Australia Day 2013, Bundaberg copped a hiding

Decaying Tropical Cyclone Oswald dumped up to 1.5m of rain into the catchment of the Burnett River, with Bundaberg receiving 400mm of rain, we copped the 1:200 year rain event in our catchment alone.

Townsville has received an equally unprecedented flood event early last month. Your heart sinks. But my purpose here is not about the current situation but more about the future. My experience and account comes from being a resident, investor and property developer of two significant projects at the time.

The lessons we learnt from 2013 show that life does indeed go on. Freak events bring out amazing, often awe-inspiring responses and as time goes by after the clean-ups, solutions to what seems like impossible questions now, do get solved. Developments that were directly impacted with doomsday scenarios, got fixed and finished with sensible alterations. Drainage and structural improvements to infrastructure happened and millions of dollars of State and Federal funds get focussed on ‘fixable’ areas to mitigate possible future events. Mapping shows increased flood heights which require future construction activities to be raised.

My advice to sensible property professionals directly impacted is to be part of those solutions. Get on recovery committees, call out the nonsensical, panic-driven and illogical responses for what they are. In other words, be part of the solutions. We are leaders and what we do best is lead in difficult situations.

We directly had six commercial tenancies flooded, our two rental units flooded, and our family home flooded including a car, a horse-float, trailer and much of our home contents written off. We had some insurance on some things and none on others. Some insurance companies were great to deal with, others displayed complete incompetence. But the point is that all this is just stuff and all replaceable.

I am happy to talk to affected individuals on a personal and confidential basis. I also drink beer, red wine and love blue cheese if you ever want to catch up and share flood stories.”