Background: Natural Disaster in the Grampians in January 2011
The Grampians is located approximately 220km west of Melbourne and is accessible via the major towns of Halls Gap and Dunkeld. The Grampians National Park covers approximately 168,110ha and is listed on the Australian Heritage Database National Heritage List and other localities in the Grampians are listed on the Register of the National Estate, which testifies to the significance of the landform and its attraction as a tourism destination.
In January 2011, heavy rains in the Grampians triggered more than 190 landslides, some of which were up to 3km long and caused considerable damage to private property, roads, walking tracks and public infrastructure in the region. The Halls Gap Community Safety Committee commissioned a geotechnical assessment which concluded that the majority of the landslides were debris flows triggered by 1 in 100 year rainfall.
In February 2011 and as a consequence of the January 2011 flooded sections of Halls Gap were evacuated due to heavy rain and the predicted threat of landslides impacting on parts of the town. Although the rain did not eventuate, the evaluated communities reported concern about the social and financial impact of the evacuations.