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Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

12 December 2006

First complete history of SA's 4000 floods


The most comprehensive book produced on South Australia's 4000 floods since European settlement will be officially released in Adelaide today.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, launched the Bureau of Meteorology’s Floods in South Australia: 1836-2005.

“Amid the bushfires and furnace-like conditions of recent days, it seems almost hard to believe it will flood again,” Mr Hunt said.

“But the flash flooding which hit Gawler two weeks after Ash Wednesday in 1983 is a sharp reminder of the weather extremes in South Australia.

“And just over 12 months ago, Adelaide experienced floods that damaged infrastructure and caused price rises in local produce.”

Mr Hunt congratulated a team of 89 Work for the Dole participants and 27 volunteers, including students from University SA, who put in more than 30,000 hours over four years to complete this project.

“Researchers checked more than 600,000 microfilmed newspaper pages to produce a 240-page book covering some of the State’s most dramatic events,” Mr Hunt said.

“Here we have a composite record which includes over 2000 articles and photographs, together with DVD footage of floods which swept through South Australia.

“This has been a mammoth effort to sift through all these records to produce what is an outstanding history and reference guide.

“I am advised that the book is expected to be used by emergency services to help plan mitigation strategies for future floods,” Mr Hunt said.

“It is a unique and comprehensive tool of considerable public interest and of great use to engineers, hydrologists and researchers. Students will also find it useful and fascinating.”

More information: www.bom.gov.au/weather/sa/inside/flood_history/

Media contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt’s Office) on 0400 496 596

Commonwealth of Australia