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Climate change: Floods in Queensland Australia Research Paper


Over the recent past, the issue of climatic change has raised major concern about the well being of the recent as well as the future generation. One of the main issues that have significantly contributed in climatic change is the destruction of the environment. This has impacted negatively on economic activities like mining which plays a significant role in the Australian economy.

The climatic change has been characterized by unpredictable weather conditions. These can be extreme temperatures or extreme rainfall. As a result of these changes, it has become very difficult to make appropriate plans. This has led to huge losses economically.

Climatic change has led to increased cases of floods which is a very common problem over the recent. The cases of floods have significantly increased a thing that has caused huge destruction of mines (Cooper, Grey, Raymond and Walker 2004). This has particularly affected the mines since most of them become inoperable when covered by water.

A good example of adverse impact of the climatic change is the flood that occurred in Australia in 2010 and early in the year 2011. This has significantly affected the coal mining in the country as well as other economic activities (International Standard ISO/FDIS 31000 2009).

The flood cost the economy a large fraction, which was lost to the disaster. Although several measures were taken to mitigate the problem, the flood had an adverse impact on the economy.

As already noted, this flood that occurred on December 2010 and January 2011 was one of the most devastating cases in Australia. The impact of this disaster can be measured through its impacts on the level of production (Kaplan and Norton 2000). The disaster affected several sectors in the economy. Some of the most affected sectors are the mining and the agricultural sectors.

One of the main measure through which this risk can be measured is through its impacts on the mining sector. The mining sector was significantly affected by the floods during this period. For instance, approximately 20% of the mines around the Bowen Basin were not operable at the time due to the floods (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change 2007).

For instance, most of the mines were covered by water and therefore making it difficult to continue with any operation. Transportation of the coal from the mines was also difficult because the roads were in worse conditions. Therefore, the workers were forced to abandon the mine momentarily. Similarly, about 60% of the primary Queensland’s region was also inoperable (Department of Finance 1991).

Most of the companies ceased the transportation of coal as the weather conditions deteriorated. The rail lines were also destroyed the fact that led to deterioration of the transportation of coal to the ports (Rowe, Mason, Dickel., and Snyder 1989). According to Grey (1995), about 40 million tones were lost during this period.

According to information published by AlertNet (2011), the recent floods in Australia affected about 35 percent of the total estmate of 259 millions tonnes production in Australia. This has cost the coal industry a significant amount of money. This has threatened the level of its performance. The floods led to a closure of about 40 mines in the region. This problem led to a significant drop in the levels of coal production.

In the year 2009, the total production of thermal coal fell by about ten metric tonnes from 200.5 to 190.7 (Australian Government: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism 2011). This broke the upward trend in thermal coal production which had been recorded over the previous years (Australian Government: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism 2011).

However, production of Metallurgical coal increased by approximately one metric tonne in the same year. This also had a significant impact on the level of total export values. For instance the export value for thermal coal fell from 34, 464 million dollars in 2008 to 18, 628 in 2009 (Australian Government: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism 2011). This implies that the export value fell by almost a half.

Flood can have an adverse impact to the country if not managed appropriately. Therefore, it is necessary to have the necessary mitigation measures. Through application of the various ways, we can eliminate the problems associated with floods.

In order to have an effective risk management process, it is necessary to have a close coordination between the community, the government, and the other concerned parties in order to mitigate the risks effectively (The National Flood Risk Advisory Group 2008).

The government has the responsibility of implementing the appropriate policies in order to avoid any risk. The community also has the responsibility of ensuring that they know the areas that are more prone to the risks (The Royal Society of London, 1992 and Anonymous 2011).

In order to have an effective risk management process, it is necessary to have a critical control of every activity in order to avoid risks (Queensland Government 2002).

This will ensure that the risks are minimized in case it takes place. In risk management, it will also be advisable to know the likelihood that the floods will take place (Sai Global). This will help to make the necessary arrangements so that everything is intact before the floods strikes.

According to Vose (2000), the risk management requires a good understanding of the threats and opportunities that are present. For instance, through the strengths and threats analysis, an organisation will be able to identify any variations from what is planned to be done from what is already there (ABARES Special Report 2011).

. Through the risk management process, it is therefore possible to overcome future risks or combat its impacts (Botting 2004). As already noted, floods has a devastating effects when it struck a region. It is therefore important for the responsible parties to ensure that appropriate measures are adopted in order to overcome these risks (SCARM 2000).

One of the major players in the risk management is the government. The government plays a significant role in various roles in risk managements (Queensland Government, Flood risk and storm water management 2011). In order for any risk management to be successful, it is advisable for the government to participate at all the levels (Jones 2011).

For instance, the government has the responsibility of ensuring that they are punctual in giving alerts about floods accurate warning to the community (Tweeddale 2003).

However, it is necessary to have an effective coordination between various parties in order to have successful risk management process (Queensland Government, Understanding floods: questions and answers 2011). Without coordination, the results of the management process may be poor.

The insurance organisations also have a significant role in risk management. Insurance organisations have the responsibility of mitigating any risks posed on the coal companies which they cover (Arnold 2008).

The insurance organisations are supposed to secure the coal mining companies against all the losses they may undergo thorough such a flood. Therefore, an organisation will be able to recover fast from the disaster and therefore revive back to the desired level of production. This will also solve the problem of power shortages.

Coal companies also have an important role to play in the risk management. For instance, the company like Xstrata should be able to timely know when such floods are likely to occur.

This will give them enough time to prepare for such risks to suppress their impacts in its production capacity. The company also has the responsibility to follow all the guidelines given by various agencies in order to facilitate the success of risk management process.

The community also has the responsibility of ensuring that they follow all the directions given by various agencies (Lindstrom 2011). They must also actively participate in making the appropriate decisions concerning the risk mitigation proceeds. Nonetheless, it is necessary to have an effective coordination between different parties in order to have a successful risk management process

Reference List

ABARES Special Report. 2011. The Impact of Recent Flood Events on Commodities. ISBN 978-1-921448-85-0.

AlertNet. 2011. AlertNet Climate. Web.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, 2011. The Impact of Recent Flood Events on Commodities, ABARES Special Report

Australian Government: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. 2011. Australia’s Coal Industry. Web.

Anonymous, 2011. Economic Impact of Queensland’s Natural Disasters. PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Anonymous, 2011. Risk Management: Queensland Floods A Risk Headache For Mines. Web.

Arnold, M. 2008. The Role of Risk Transfer and Insurance in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adoption. Web.

Botting, A. 2004. Risk Management Guidelines. Companion to AS/NZS 4360:2004.

Chapman, C. and Ward, S., 1997. Project Risk Management: Processes, Techniques and Insights. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.

Cooper, D., Grey, S., Raymond G. and Walker P., 2004, Project Risk Management Guidelines: Managing Risk in Large Projects and Complex Procurements. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.

Department of Finance, 1991. Handbook of Cost Benefit Analysis. Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service.

Grey, S, 1995. Practical Risk Assessment for Project Management. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.

International Standard ISO/FDIS 31000, 2009. Risk management — Principles and guidelines, ISO/FDIS 31000

Jones, D. 2011. . Web.

Kaplan and Norton, 2000. Having trouble with strategy? Then map it, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 78, No. 5, September-October 2000.

Lindstrom, P. 2011. Economic Impact of Queensland’s Natural Disasters. Web.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. 2007. Floodplain Risk Management Guideline on Residential Flood Damages.

Queensland Government. 2002. Guidance on the Assessment of Tangible Flood Damages. QNRM02081 15929

Queensland Government. 2011. Flood Risk and Storm Water Management. Web.

Queensland Government. 2011. Understanding Floods: Questions and Answers. Web.

Rowe, A., Mason, R., Dickel, K., and Snyder, N., 1989. Strategic Management: A Methodological Approach, Third Edition, Reading, MA Addison-Wesley.

Sai Global, 2004. Risk Management Guidelines. Companion to AS/NZS 4360:2004

SCARM, 2000. Floodplain Management in Australia: Best Practice Principles and Guidelines. Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management (SCARM). Report No 73. CSIRO Publishing, 2000

The National Flood Risk Advisory Group. 2008. Flood Risk Management in Australia. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, November 2008.

The Royal Society of London, 1992. Risk: Analysis, Perception and Management. London, The Royal Society

Tweeddale, H. 2003. Managing Risk and Reliability of Process Plants. Amsterdam, Gulf Professional Publishing

Vose, D, 2000. Risk Analysis: A Quantitative Guide. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Climate change: Floods in Queensland Australia." October 17, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-floods-in-queensland-australia-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Climate change: Floods in Queensland Australia'. 17 October.

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