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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

Monday March 3 2003

Study to Raise South Australia's Flood Awareness

South Australians will soon have unprecedented access to information on the history of its floods. The Bureau of Meteorology, in conjunction with state and local governments and the community, will start filling the gaps in South Australia's historical records.

In announcing the project, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage said that until now, the history of flooding in South Australia has only been documented in fragments. This initiative will fill significant gaps in historical records. Volunteers and the unemployed will help complete the history.

"South Australia is commonly known as a dry state and large parts of the country are presently in drought. However it is important to remember that floods can have a serious impact on communities. Property is destroyed and lives can be lost. I believe that the lack of proper documentation of flood risk is a serious omission of our knowledge of natural hazards in South Australia," Dr Stone said.

Agencies involved in the project include:

The Commonwealth's "Work for the Dole" scheme is a significant aspect of this project. This project is providing excellent opportunities for participants to develop and expand their skills in historical research. The Bureau of Meteorology is providing overall coordination of the project, and Mr David McCarthy, a retired local government engineer, is undertaking the project management on a voluntary basis.

Dr Stone said, "The History of Floods in South Australia will raise the community's awareness of flooding, improve the effectiveness of the Bureau's flood warning services, and provide an invaluable resource to water resources and flood risk management professionals."

Further Information:
Ms Anna Hughes Office of the Hon. Dr Sharman Stone 0408 697 055
Mr Chris Wright SA Regional Office Bureau of Meteorology 08 8366 2669

Commonwealth of Australia