Case study

Port Pacific Estate

ProjectReview of Flooding and Drainage Issues at Port Pacific Estate
ClientBarry Nilsson Lawyers (on behalf of Cairns Regional Council)
LocationCraiglie, Port Douglas, Queensland
Peer Review
WRM ContactDr Sharmil Markar

The Challenge

Port Pacific Estates Pty Ltd initiated legal action in the Supreme Court against Cairns Regional Council and Kel Fraser Bruce and Bruce and Associates Consulting Pty Ltd to recover losses incurred by the plaintiff due to a range of issues described in the court documents.

The investigation required finding retro-fitting solutions to manage and mitigate flooding at the partially developed site without causing adverse flood impacts on neighbouring properties. The challenge was to maximise the developable area of the site whilst conforming to Council’s development guidelines and keeping flood mitigation costs as low as possible.

Approach and Key Activities

The flooding problems at this multi-stage development site did not become apparent until Stage 1 of the development had been completed and several future stages had been approved in principle by Council. In addition, some flood mitigation works had already been undertaken.

Barry Nilsson Lawyers, acting on behalf of the Cairns Regional Council, requested WRM to undertake a review of available data and information (including hydrologic and hydraulic modelling undertaken and expert reports prepared on behalf of the plaintiff) relevant to flooding and drainage at Port Pacific Estate and provide an expert opinion on a range of matters relating to flood investigations, development on flood prone land, and flood mitigation.

This required working with experts from a range of disciplines including town planning and civil design and construction.


The opinions and advice provided by WRM, in addition to the other experts assisting council, enabled the parties reach a settlement out of Court.