A former emergency services boss says people who need rescuing after they ignore evacuation orders or drive through floodwaters should pay a price.

Former Queensland Department of Community Safety director-general Jim McGowan says lessons have been learned from the state's flood crisis of 2011, but more remains to be done.

People who refuse a mandatory evacuation order should be made to contribute to the cost of their rescue or face some other sanction, he says.

And people who drive through floodwaters should be fined or punished in some other way.

"It's not good enough to put helicopter pilots or SES (State Emergency Service) volunteers at risk because you've ignored advice from authorities to either move or not to drive through a flooded creek," he told AAP.

"I think we need to do something about that, and strengthening the legal sanctions might be some way of reinforcing the public message.

"We've spent a lot of money on advertising around `if it's flooded, forget it', but too many people still ignore that advice.

Two people have been killed trying to cross flooded roads and many more have been rescued during Queensland's latest flood crisis.

On Tuesday, authorities were still rescuing people who chose to stay in their homes in the flooded central Queensland town of Bundaberg despite a mandatory evacuation order.

Professor McGowan said disaster management plans had improved, flood maps were more accurate and evacuation centres were more organised than they were in 2011.

But he said many last-minute rooftop rescues could have been avoided if people in Bundaberg had been warned of the extent of the record flooding earlier.

He called for better warning systems in the regions.

"It took a while before people appreciated the impact of the flooding in the Burnett River," he said.

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