Rural Society | VOL. 23

Flooding and food security: A case study of community resilience in Rockhampton

Publication Date Oct 1, 2014


In early 2011 the regional city of Rockhampton was cut-off from its main sources of food supply by unprecedented flooding across the State of Queensland. Despite the existence of local and state government disaster management plans, the Rockhampton community was highly vulnerable to food insecurity during this time. We argue that this vulnerability was due both to its reliance on long food supply chains that were disrupted due to loss of transport access and infrastructure, as well as to the relative lack of local, alternative, food distribution channels. However, the experience of Rockhampton also illustrates numerous examples of community resilience. In this article, we consider the ways that different actors within the community (including government, private sector, industry and community groups) mobilised resources, information and relationships in order to ensure food security for the city during the flooding crisis of 2011. This draws upon an understanding of community resilience as the capacity to thrive and transform in an environment of change. Based on policy analysis and qualitative interviews with key actors in Rockhampton, we found that despite many examples of positive ‘collective community capacity’ in the immediate period of crisis, such as flexible and innovative use of personal ‘networking’ to move food from one location to another, numerous challenges arose in relation to formal decisionmaking and information-sharing processes. Finally, we question the extent to which the 2011 events might be influencing ...

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Understanding Of Community Resilience
Food Distribution Channels
Information-sharing Processes
Food Security
Food Supply Chains
Period Of Crisis
Formal Decisionmaking Processes
State Of Queensland
Local Disaster Management
Key Actors

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