Media Release

Newsroom Releases 2014 October JCU study to help make North Qld more cyclone resilient

17/10/2014
JCU study to help make North Qld more cyclone resilient
Researchers from James Cook University will undertake a ground breaking study that will help improve north Queensland housing’s resilience to cyclones.

JCU study to help make North Qld more cyclone resilient

Researchers from James Cook University will undertake a ground breaking study that will help improve north Queensland housing’s resilience to cyclones.

The study, which is funded by insurer, Suncorp, will identify the good and bad features affecting vulnerabilty in the region’s housing.

JCU’s Cyclone Testing Station Director, David Henderson said a team of structural engineers will pore over more than 24,000 insurance claims from cyclones Larry and Yasi.

Dr Henderson says the study will provide valuable information about what makes a home more resilient to cyclones.

“Along with the age of properties, the shape, orientation, construction form, building type, roof type and attachments at the properties will also be considered.”

“This will help us form a clear picture of what differentiates cyclone resilient housing stock from less resilient homes so we can investigate cost effective ways of improving them.”

Suncorp Personal Insurance CEO, Mark Milliner said North Queensland residents should know how and where homes are the most exposed to cyclone damage.

He said the information should help reduce a property’s risk and ultimately lower the cost of home insurance.

“North and far north Queensland need this study. The outcomes will help the wider community develop practical measures that homeowners can use to make their homes more resilient to cyclones,” Mr Milliner said.

“It could even help governments determine whether building standards are suitable in addressing cyclone risk.

“To help Queenslanders in these areas, it’s vital insurers, governments and communities work together towards a collective and accurate view about the nature and extent of risk and strong action to reduce that risk.”

Tropical cyclones Larry and Yasi ripped through communities in north and far north Queensland. Yasi caused an economic loss of $3.5 billion. Larry had a $1 billion impact.

In addition to the research, Suncorp has also announced that it has signed on as a benefactor of JCU, to form an ongoing partnership and collaborate on future works.

The research findings are expected to be reported next year.

For more information contact:

Richard Davis, Head of Media & Communications, JCU

(07) 4781 4822 / 0413 451 475

richard.davis@jcu.edu.au

Chris Newlan

Suncorp Insurance Corporate Affairs

0403 058 455

chris.newlan@suncorp.com.au