Thornlands – Natural hazards and critical infrastructure

Thornlands – Natural hazards and critical infrastructure

Natural Hazards

To view Natural Hazard mapping layers for bushfire, flood and storm tides, or landslides visit the Redlands Coast Disaster Dashboard.

Bushfire

Thornlands is characterised as having scattered medium to high bushfire hazard areas. Recent urban development around the Kinross Road estate is in close proximity to some of the medium bushfire hazard areas. There are still a number of rural areas within Thornlands that also have considerable medium bushfire hazard areas, with a few pockets of high hazard areas.

High bushfire hazard areas are located near housing developments between Clifford Perske Drive and Manning Esplanade at the shoreline. Significant urban development has occurred east of Cleveland Redland Bay Road and surrounding the Pinklands Sporting Complex that is bordered by a high bushfire hazard area, such as along Condamine Crescent to Waterline Boulevard.

Properties adjacent bushland areas may be risk of ember attack should there be a bushfire in the vicinity. During a wildfire, embers can travel up to 3km in front of a fire line which means residents need to be vigilant and be prepared. For more information about bushfire preparedness and what to do during a bushfire, visit the Queensland Rural Fire Service website to create your Bushfire Survival Plan – PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE.

Redland City Council employs a range of fire mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of bushfire on Council owned land and impact to surrounding areas. These strategies include hazard reduction burning (back burns), fire breaks and weed management. Redland City Council works with its Local Disaster Management Group partners to undertake fire mitigation activities around the city.

Flood Prone, Storm Tide

The Thornlands area has potential to experience flooding as a consequence of either tidal inundation or flash flooding resulting from heavy rainfall events. Thornlands has a number of waterways including the Crystal Waters Dam and Eprapah Creek. Crystal Waters Dam, originally used as a primary water source for the local farm prior to residential development, is centrally located in Thornlands and surrounded by urban development. The dam operates via a spillway that is not gated and empties into Moreton Bay via a creek system that runs through bushland along King Street and Baythorn Drive. To access the Emergency Action Plan for the Crystal Waters Dam, click on the link here.

Eprapah Creek is the largest waterway in Thornlands and is impacted by both tidal inundation and flash flooding resulting from heavy rainfall events. The Eprapah Creek system primarily runs through bushland reserve areas, however if the creek floods, current mapping indicates that it will impact the Lakeside Shopping Centre at Victoria Point, the Victoria Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, Faith Lutheran College and other large properties along Beveridge Road. This Creek can also impact roads along its path as indicated by the flood prone hazard mapping; south of where Woodlands Drive meets Mount Cotton Road, Eprapah Road, Springacre and Kingfisher Roads. It could quite possibly impact Cleveland Redland Bay Road, south of the Boundary Road roundabout.

Eprapah Creek is about 52km long and is made up of a main channel and two smaller tributary channels – Little Eprapah and Sandy Creeks. The creek starts at the Mount Cotton hills west of Mount Cotton road, flows through cleared rural blocks and east towards the lower, urbanised reaches of Victoria Point. Eprapah Creek catchment covers the southern boundary of Thornlands, western edges of Victoria Point and Redland Bay and the majority of Mount Cotton. West Mount Cotton Road forms part of the western catchment boundary. Major natural features on public land include Eprapah estuary, Sandy Creek and Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area. The catchment also has many smaller parcels of bushland refuges and Eprapah Creek corridor conservation land.

Hilliards Creek rises in the low hills of Sheldon and Thornlands either side of Taylor Road. Woodlands Drive forms part of the catchment boundary between Hilliards and Eprapah Creeks catchments. Hilliards Creek upper branches meet just north of Boundary Road and flows northward, through Alexandra Hills and Ormiston, draining into Central (Moreton) Bay. The creek is about 13km long. The freshwater section of the creek ends at the road crossing at Sturgeon Street Ormiston and the estuarine section extends for three to four kilometres to the foreshore. Wetlands of state significance are located around the mouth of Hilliards Creek and foreshore of Wellington Point.

Current mapping also indicates that low lying areas of Thornlands may experience tidal inundation as a result of a storm tide event. Areas of greatest impact appear to be along the shoreline from South Street to King Street. This area of east Thornlands has seen much urban development in recent years, meaning homes are closer  to the potential tidal inundation areas. What is concerning about these residential developments is that they utilise single road access – one road in, one road out. In east Thornlands, current flood prone, storm tide mapping indicates the possibility of South Street and Thornlands Road being cut by flood water which would effectively isolate a large section of the east Thornlands residential community for a period of time.

Landslide

Landslide Hazard mapping indicates that Thornlands has either no or low landslide risk. The areas of low landslide hazard are generally confined to the acreage areas to the west of the suburb around Woodlands Drive and Taylor Road.

This area is predominantly rural and as such contains large properties and minimal residential development. The Redland City Plan, through the Landslide Hazard Overlay attempts to mitigate the impacts of the landslide hazard by requiring more robust engineering for developments built within the identified landslide hazard areas. It is important for engineers and geologists to evaluate slope stability and any landslide threat during development assessments so that effective and timely remedial measures can be implemented.

Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure at the time of a disaster event includes utilities such as power, water, sewerage, telecommunications, gas, road and rail networks. Impacts of a disaster on these services may have far-reaching long-term effects for mainland communities.

Sewage

Thornlands has a mix of sewered and non-sewered areas, the residential development areas in the north and east of the suburb are connected to the city’s sewer network. Effluent from these areas is directed to the Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant located to the west of Redland Hospital. Current hazard mapping indicates that the Cleveland WastewaterTreatment Plant is surrounded by bushland identified as being a high to very high bushfire hazard.

The rural acreage areas, located in the south and west of the suburb are not connected to the city’s sewer network and rely on a mix of gravity-fed septic systems and on-site sewerage treatment plants located on the properties to manage the wastewater. The on-site sewerage treatment plants require electricity to function, therefore it is recommended that these systems have a back-up generator to cope with extended periods of power outages which can occur during severe weather events. Many of the RCC sewage pumping stations have fixed generators onsite to provide backup power in the event of a power failure. Those that do not have fixed generators have the facilities to plug in a portable generator; several are available that can be taken to any site that requires it.

Water

Thornlands receives its water supply from the Heinemann Road Reservoir, located at Mount Cotton. The Heinemann Road Reservoir services the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, Redland Bay, Victoria Point and Thornlands and is connected to the Mount Cotton Reservoir at Tallow Wood Court, which services Mount Cotton and Sheldon. The Mount Cotton Reservoir in turn is connected to the Alexandra Hills Reservoir located at Alexandra Circuit making possible the supply of water to Redland City’s northern suburbs should there be issues with Leslie Harrison Dam which traditionally services the north of the city.

The Heinemann Road Reservoir is also connected to the Herring Lagoon bore field on North Stradbroke Island and the South East Queensland Water Grid via a pump station on Gramzow Road, Mount Cotton. The connection to the South East Queensland Water Grid allows water to be pumped to and from the city via the Heinemann Road Reservoir. This network of reservoirs, pump stations and pipelines ensures that water can be moved around the network and that multiple water supplies are available to residents living in all areas Redland City.

Electricity

Thornlands has a mix of both overhead and underground powerline networks servicing the suburb. The more recently developed estates east of Cleveland Redland Bay Road are primarily serviced by an underground powerline network, whilst the remainder of Thornlands is supplied by the overhead powerline network. The overhead powerlines are more susceptible to damage during severe weather which can result in power outages and fallen powerlines.

Fallen powerlines can cause significant dangers to the community, be aware that any object in contact with powerlines could be live. The area surrounding fallen powerlines is more dangerous in wet conditions as sea and tap water are an excellent conductor of electricity.

Remember: any metallic objects, including fences, will be electrified if they touch or are even close to a live fallen powerline. Even a tree branch can be a potential conductor of electricity if it is in contact with a live wire. Stay away from fallen powerlines and alert others of the danger – contact Energex on 000 or 13 19 62.

Gas

There is no domestic reticulated gas service within Redland City and there is no gas main that runs through the suburb of Thornlands. There are however homes within the area that use gas bottles to service hot water systems and cooking appliances. Residents are reminded to be diligent with the appropriate storage and maintenance of any gas bottles that they have located on their property.

Telecommunications

Thornlands is connected via landlines to the telecommunications and data networks. There is good mobile network coverage in Thornlands with limited to no mobile reception black spots in the area. Telstra is the major supplier of telecommunications to the region; other suppliers include Optus and Vodafone.

Connection to the National Broadband Network (NBN) is now available across the majority of Australia, with various connection types for both wired (copper, fibre optic, and hybrid fibre-coaxial) and radio (satellite and fixed wireless). It is important to know the type of connection you have; fibre to the building (FTTB), fibre to the curb (FTTC), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the premises (FTTP), or hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), there is also satellite or fixed wireless. The majority of connections are FTTN and FTTP, closely followed by HFC.

It is important to note that any equipment connected via the NBN will not work during a power outage, including VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones. For more information about what happens in a power blackout for the type of connection at your residence, please go to https://www.nbnco.com.au/learn/what-happens-in-a-power-blackout. Certain connection types can request battery back-up solutions through their internet service provider; battery back-up is required for all Priority Assistance customers who suffer from a diagnosed life-threatening illness.

If you have a medical alarm, emergency call button, autodialler, security alarm, monitored fire alarm or lift emergency phones at your premises, please contact your equipment provider to confirm whether your equipment will work via the network in the event of a power outage. Further information is also available on the NBN website and how to register these devices; this assists the NBN in identifying premises where support maybe be required to minimise service outages https://www.nbnco.com.au/learn/device-compatibility.

Road Network

REMEMBER: If it’s flooded, forget it – BACK IT UP!

Summer months bring rain, cyclones and unstable weather conditions to Queensland. More than half of flood related deaths in Queensland are the result of people driving through floodwater. It can happen anywhere – roads, creeks, dams, parks or backyards. Residents should be aware of the dangers connected to floodwater or swift flowing water such as: slippery surfaces; uneven ground; strong currents; sharp objects; electrical current; fences; vehicles; rocks; long grass; tree branches; sewerage; and chemicals.

If you get trapped in floodwater, you not only put your life and the lives of the people with you at risk, but you also put the lives of the rescuers at risk too.

Localised flooding may temporarily restrict access and cut roads in some areas of Redland City. Please consider this when planning to drive during periods of heavy rain. See a list of the areas that may be impacted by localised flooding.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Plan ahead and keep yourself, family and friends safe. Check out the Queensland Government’s ‘Back it Up’ initiative for more information.

Rail Network

Currently there is no rail infrastructure in Thornlands and there are no plans to extend to rail network to Thornlands in the near future.