Lessons learnt (perhaps) from the Pasha Bulker Storm

Four years ago Newcastle suffered a major storm with extensive urban and rural flooding and wind storms causing loss of life and over 600 million dollars damage.  There were power and water supply failures affected some areas for three days, plus prolonged commercial damage to major shopping precincts including Wallsend, Cardiff, The Junction and Newcastle West.

These natural storms are recurring events, but the pattern of urban development may have increased the danger to life and property.  Climate change may also contribute.  This could have major implications for future development in the region.

Professor Garry Willgoose and colleagues Anthony Kiem and Danielle Verdon-Kidd, from the Centre for Climate Impact Management at the University of Newcastle, have produced a report pulling together all the research done on the consequences of the storm, and lessons learnt, for the Federal Department of Climate Change.

If it happened tomorrow would the emergency be handled better?  What was learnt and usefully incorporated into our planning and emergency management?  What lessons have still not been learnt? Some “knee jerk” responses that have occurred but are perhaps over-reactions will also be discussed. This is an important opportunity for the public to hear about what has been learnt – and what hasn’t been learnt – after Newcastle’s latest major storm.

VENUE: Souths Leagues Club.
DATE: Tuesday 13th Sept. 2011  TIME: 7.00 till 8.30pm
ADMISSION: $5 Donation
FURTHER DETAILS:  www.newinstitute.org.au  or Angie at  0422 401 129
Download pdf version of notice




One Response

  1. I wish I had of known this event was on, prior to today (September 2012).

    I have direct, first-hand experience with flooding during the 2007 Storm regarding the Wallsend Community (Wallsend presents as the ‘highest risk to life’ flood zone in Australia). My experience was:

    – Emergency response was inadequate
    – No psychological support post-event for those affected
    – Numerous insurance issues (storm or flood?)compounding loss and trauma
    – Community awareness – ill prepared; many in community still think it will ONLY HAPPEN ONCE EVERY 100 YEARS, instead of a 1% chance of a Probable Maximum Flood event.
    – Residual impacts
    – property devalued (yet council rates remains unchanged. Wallsend is not the ONLY flood zone; 80% of Newcastle is prone to flooding)
    – mould build up inside walls (Health issues)

    – Community spirit was reinforced
    – Town coordinator (Kathie Heyman) was pivotal to a ‘speedier’ recovery of the Wallsend Business District
    – State funding was made readily available
    – Local Council organised several meetings to disseminate information and maintained fairly open communications.


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