JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Who is set to win from flood disaster?


Courtney Trenwith

Construction workers are set to be busy rebuilding flood-ravaged Queensland.

Construction workers are set to be busy rebuilding flood-ravaged Queensland.

While thousands have experienced devastating losses, others will inevitably benefit from the floods that have decimated Queensland.

The tragedy, which is expected to cost at least $6 billion and postpone a return to a budget surplus by 2015/16, is a crushing blow to industries such as agriculture, mining and tourism.

Stores that lost six months worth of stock [in the floods] will see three years turnover in the next few months, so they're going to do well. 

However, Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Goodwin said it may be the saviour of many businesses, particularly in the construction sector, which had been suffering from the global financial crisis and wet weather.

The flooded Brisbane River spills into residential areas close to the CBD. Click for more photos

The most striking photos of the floods

As the biggest floods in decades swamped Brisbane and Ipswich, photographers were there to capture it all. Photo: REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Engineers, equipment and hire companies, and retail outlets are expected to do well, with short-term gains for laundromats and car washes.

Mr Goodwin said while there had been compassion for flood victims, businesses would have to start charging soon if they had not already.

“[Businesses have already] been badly hit by the GFC and government charges and taxes rising,” he said.

“They haven't been doing as well in Queensland as the rest of the country so they're going to need to charge for their services.”

Mr Goodwin called on employees to donate a few hours' extra work to cover for colleagues directly affected by the floods.

“What we're encouraging is [for employees] to take that [clean-up] volunteering spirit to work,” he said.

“Some are going to need to work harder because others are taking care of their homes.”

As regions from Rockhampton to the NSW border work to rebuild infrastructure, the construction sector would undoubtedly gain the most, benefitting builders, engineers, all manner of tradespeople, suppliers and fence installers.

Extensive work is required to fix essential roads, bridges and railways, and hundreds of thousands of homes and other buildings.

Construction had been wrecked by lack of demand and wet weather, Mr Goodwin said.

“They've had equipment on sites for months but [because of wet weather] progress payments are not going to be received,” he said.

Mr Goodwin said engineering services would be in high demand with much of the damaged infrastructure decades old and requiring new engineering work.

There also would be increased demand for hire and equipment companies that stocked items such as generators, industrial cleaning equipment, heaving moving vehicles, trucks, road surfacing machines and dump trucks.

Mr Goodwin said an increase in customers at some restaurants and cafes during the initial flood crisis was likely to significantly decline as victims faced the economic toll of restarting their lives.

But as residents began to refurbish their homes, retail outlets from clothing and bedding to white goods and cars would boom.

“People are going to buy fridges, washing machines and household bulky goods,” he said.

“Stores that lost six months worth of stock [in the floods] will see three years turnover in the next few months, so they're going to do well.”

However, overall the business industry would suffer.

“The business industry is going to be badly hit. There will be the winners, there's no question about it, but ... there will be a net loss,” Mr Goodwin said.

18 comments so far

  • People will not be able to buy anything if they are not covered by flood insurance. Those Insurers should be reported as such.

    Date and time
    January 18, 2011, 6:50AM
    • Who is going to make a killing ?? well no doubt that whinger who complained about people buying things on-line to avoid paying GST,you know who i mean...

      The Crabbie Old Cabbie
      Date and time
      January 18, 2011, 7:10AM
      • I am not sure if anyone saw it, but Mr. Goodwin was making funny faces in front of camera last night on ABC TV, I think he did not realise that the camera was rolling...If he is truly feel sorry for the businesses people, you would not do that..wouldn't YOU?

        funny face
        Date and time
        January 18, 2011, 7:21AM
        • I can't help but wonder if the RBA will need to be augmented by other goverment fiscal tools. It would seem that inflation is inevitable but the effects of the "2 speed ecconomy" will be amplified. The RBA raising rates will cool inflation but how many people will go under as a consequence?
          Fiscal policy will need reviewing at the Federal level. This will ease RBA pressure to respond to inflation. The RBA is extremely effective but more than ever, extremely crude .

          Date and time
          January 18, 2011, 7:36AM
          • for all those in the market for new appliances, remember to shop wisely. Harvey Norman already has a reputation for price gouging and this would be a prime opportunity for Gerry Harvey to profit from the misfortune of others.

            Date and time
            January 18, 2011, 7:45AM
            • A lot of those stores like Harvey Norman, Myers and Co who decided to go to war with consumers over online shopping will be huge winners out of this disaster.

              Not that it will stop them continuing the fight though, after all, our custom is merely their "right".

              Date and time
              January 18, 2011, 7:47AM
              • Someone tell Mr Goodwin 'he's dreamin'.

                As far as the Construction industry workforce is concerned, most trades will not be needed. Most flood affected housing will require, at best, plasterboard, skirtings, some doors, and paint. Hardly a game changer. As well, electricians will be required to ensure safety before power is resumed.

                But, will all of this occur pronto? Given the reports about the number of Australia's insurance industry claiming exemptions for flood affected payouts, the 'refits' will probably be spread out over years, not weeks.

                And, only those in a reasonable financial position will move quickly to rebuild fences - an item usually low on the priority list.

                To make matters worse, tradespeople seeking to benefit from an increase in work volumes in flood affected areas will also compete with displaced home owners for scarce rental accommodation - thereby pushing up prices.


                Date and time
                January 18, 2011, 7:48AM
                • There are many people who are able to receive the $1000 for their power being out. I know one household of 2 adults who are both getting $1000 each. Somehow I don't think they had $2000 of food in their fridge and freezer. It would be nice if people replaced their food and donated the rest, but I highly doubt it. The couple I know will use to to move apartments as they are moving out next week. These people will definitely be "winners". Disgusting.

                  Date and time
                  January 18, 2011, 8:01AM
                  • OMG! Pointing fingers, naming and blaming. Is this the Queensland spirit we have all witnessed over the past few weeks?

                    You guys are already sentencing people who haven't even made a move for the money. And laying blame at the feet of those who might make a bit more than others. Sure there will be problems and there will be greed but the sad fact is that it's human nature and some people will be ruthless in any situation, just like looters.

                    But that doesn't mean that the vast majority of people aren't caring and responsible so we should be careful not to jump the gun with allegations of corrupt behavior BEFORE anything has happened.

                    It's the governments job to regulate this recovery and hopefully they will do a good job as they have done so far in regard to this flood.

                    Date and time
                    January 18, 2011, 8:43AM
                    • Yes, there will always be winners and the losers will get some compensation, at best. Many losers will fail to take advantage to make their compensation a little better, but the winners will know how to work the various systems so that they will win far more than they ever looked like losing. That is the way of life in a society, such as ours, that doesn't believe in fair play.

                      Date and time
                      January 18, 2011, 8:46AM

                      More comments

                      Make a comment

                      You are logged in as [Logout]

                      All information entered below may be published.

                      Error: Please enter your screen name.

                      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

                      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

                      Error: Please enter your comment.

                      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

                      Post to

                      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

                      Thank you

                      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

                      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

                      Related Coverage

                      Phone booth flooded. The most striking photos of the floods

                      As the biggest floods in decades swamped Brisbane and Ipswich, photographers were there to capture it all.

                      Clean up begins at Ipswich and Goodna

                      A day before their homes, in many cases, were under water up to the roofops. The waters have receded and the heartbreak of clean up begins.

                      Clean up. Mammoth clean-up begins in Brisbane

                      Brisbane residents faced the huge task of cleaning up their sodden city as floodwaters receded.

                      West End. West End swamped

                      Clean-up begins in the riverside suburb of West End after houses were inundated by floodwaters.

                      New Farm New Farm goes under

                      New Farm, home to iconic parks, shopping and retail facilities, beautiful old homes is a disaster area in many parts of the suburb.

                      Rosalie. Street canals in Paddington and Rosalie

                      The inner-city suburbs of Paddington, Rosalie and Milton were hit hard by the floods.

                      Rocklea markets. Brisbane's south feels the pain

                      Southern suburbs of Brisbane were among the worst hit by flood waters with private properties and businesses totally swamped.

                      St Lucia. St Lucia, Taringa in flood

                      The suburbs of St Lucia and Taringa, in Brisbane's inner west, have been flooded.

                      Flooded house. Readers' photos of the Brisbane floods

             readers share their photos of the floods that have devastated Brisbane.

                      Boat in Rosalie. Boats on the streets

                      Boats became the preferred transport on the streets of Brisbane and Ipswich as floods hit the cities.

                      Cars in flood. Flood peaks in Brisbane

                      The flood peaked in Brisbane at 4.46m on January 13.

                      Brisbane's CBD. Brisbane River swallows CBD

                      Residents in Brisbane's CBD were evacuated on January 12, roads were closed and public transport put on hold as the river inundated inner city streets.

                      Flood. Ipswich under water

                      The entire Ipswich CBD was shut down as the Bremer River rose and flooded the city.

                      Rosalie. Brisbane, Ipswich in flood

                      Floodwaters rose in Brisbane and Ipswich from January 10.

                      1974 floods. Historic photos of Brisbane's 1974 floods

                      Brisbane's most devastating floods occurred after weeks of rain in late January 1974. The Brisbane River broke its banks and flooded thousands of homes.

                      Grantham. Heartbreaking scenes in Grantham

                      Emergency services search for bodies in Grantham after a devastating sudden flood tore through the town in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, on January 10.

                      flood Flood disaster surges on

                      Floodwaters are submerging the central Queensland city of Rockhampton, which is now completely isolated.

                      How to help: Volunteers in flood of support

                      People so eager to help that there are more volunteers than jobs - but only until floodwaters recede.

                      Public transport slowly back on track

                      Public transport services will begin returning to some semblance of normality today as Brisbane’s flood waters recede.

                      Free public transport for a week

                      Southeast Queensland public transport fares have been waived as the region begins efforts to recover from this week’s flood disaster.

                      List: Latest Brisbane road closures

                      A list of roads in Brisbane that are currently closed.

                      Donate to Queensland's flood victims

                      Help the victims of Queensland's worst disaster in recorded history with a donation to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.

                      Full coverage: Queensland floods

                      The latest news, photos and video from the disaster sweeping Queensland.

                      Gillard rallies corporate Australia for flood relief

                      Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces the formation of a business task force to help Queensland as it recovers from devastating floods.

                      Top business brains to form flood taskforce

                      Australia's brightest business minds will form a taskforce to help Queensland recover from its devastating floods, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced.

                      Related Coverage

                      Follow Us

                      Featured advertisers

                      Special offers

                      Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo

                      Executive Style