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

Smith, Kiah and Lawrence, Geoffrey (2014) Flooding and food security: a case study of community vulnerability and resilience in Rockhampton. Rural Society, 23 3: 215-227. doi:10.1080/10371656.2014.11082066

Author Smith, Kiah
Lawrence, Geoffrey
Title Flooding and food security: a case study of community vulnerability and resilience in Rockhampton
Journal name Rural Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1037-1656
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10371656.2014.11082066
Open Access Status
Volume 23
Issue 3
Start page 215
End page 227
Total pages 13
Place of publication Maleny, QLD, Australia
Publisher eContent Management
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
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 decision-making and information-sharing processes. Finally, we question the extent to which the 2011 events might be influencing community-led changes to the structure of the regional food system so that it may become more resilient to climate changeinduced crises into the future. This highlights key aspects of resilience that contribute to wellbeing and food security at the community level both in the short- and long-term.
Keyword Climate change
Community capacity
Food security
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 02 Oct 2014, 15:25:37 EST by Kiah Smith on behalf of School of Social Science