Oxley and Sherwood Lead the Way as Brisbane Reclaims Flood Zones for Public Use

Oxley and Sherwood
Photo credit: Google Street View

In the aftermath of the devastating 2022 floods, a silver lining has emerged for some of Brisbane’s hardest-hit suburbs – new public spaces are being created throughout the city, including in Oxley and Sherwood, and these are from voluntary buybacks of flood-prone properties.

Read: Home Buy-back Scheme Rolls Out In Oxley, Rocklea

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The Queensland Government’s voluntary home buyback program, launched in response to the 2022 flood emergency, has seen Brisbane City Council acquire 285 residential properties across the city to date. This amounts to around 20.8 hectares of land – the equivalent of 25 rugby league fields.

The sprawling green spaces are taking shape in suburbs like Rocklea, Oxley and Sherwood as homes once inundated by floodwaters make way for new public recreation areas. Rocklea had the highest number of buybacks at 72 properties spanning over 50,000 square metres.

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Photo credit: Google Street View

Council’s Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chair Tracy Davis said the newly-acquired land would be preserved as open space to improve long-term flood resilience.

The buyback scheme gave homeowners this difficult choice – pursue costly renovations to make their home more flood resilient, or accept the offer to have the property purchased.

So far around 110 of the acquired properties have been converted into open spaces and parklands, with Council set to complete the green space transition for remaining buyback sites in coming years.
The new parklands rival some of Brisbane’s most iconic recreational areas in scale, collectively larger than the 15-hectare New Farm Park or 16-hectare Roma Street Parklands.

Read: Bunnings Plans To Rebuild Oxley Store With Flood-resilient Features

For the flood-weary residents who took the buyback option, the creation of these new green lungs in the city, including Oxley and Sherwood, offers some consolation – their once-vulnerable homes making way for public spaces that could never be impacted by future inundation events.

Published 2-May-2024