Council's Role in Flood Management

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Low lying areas position paper adopted

Council has undertaken detailed investigations into the predicted impacts on flood inundation in low lying areas within the Local Government Area.

It was found that the low lying areas of Islington, Carrington, Wickham and Maryville are particularly vulnerable. Council recognises the value of these areas and is committed to developing a plan to reduce the flood risk for residents, properties and businesses.

Council adopted a strategic position paper (the Paper) to protect the low lying areas on 25 July 2017.  This was in response to Action Pl.3 of the Newcastle City-wide Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan 2012.

The Paper includes a list of actions that are only triggered if actual increments of sea level rise are recorded. The actions of the Paper require significant planning and funding that will be explored subject to the latest scientific advice on climate change and ongoing monitoring of sea level.

 View the Strategic Position Paper for Low Lying Areas (pdf)
 View the Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

Before the event

Council's role is to investigate the risk of flooding and to prepare for future floods through land use planning, development control and flood mitigation works.  It is not possible to predict when, where, or how big the next flood will be. However, we can estimate the likelihood of different sizes of floods and their consequences so we can plan ahead.

Council is working on solutions to manage flooding with grant assistance from the government to implement actions adopted in our Flood Management Plans. Council's Flood Risk Management Committee is developing strategies during regular meetings.

During the event

The State Emergency Service (SES) is the lead emergency management agency during floods.

Council's role during a flood is to assist emergency management departments such as SES, Rural Fire Service and NSW Police.

After the event

Council leads the clean-up tasks after a flood event and coordinates repairs to damaged public assets such as roads, parks, trees and drainage. Council also applies for funding from the government to cover public asset damages.

What Council is doing to reduce flood risk

A number of actions were recommended in the Floodplain Risk Management Plans adopted by Council for Newcastle City Wide and Wallsend Commercial Area. Implementation of the recommendations has been an ongoing process.  The underlying fact for Newcastle is that urban development on the floodplain has been undertaken since European settlement. Once development has occurred in a location and a particular use of land is established it is difficult and expensive to change or move those uses to reclaim the floodplain.

This means that urban land uses in the floodplain is likely to stay and the elimination of all flood risk is practically impossible. However there are measures, such as planning controls, that can be applied to reduce flood risk in the long term as redevelopment takes place. At the end of the day there are no easy solutions and the most effective means of reducing risk is to apply a range of measures such as flood education, planning controls, emergency management, on-site detention and drainage improvements.

Specific Implementation Actions

Flash Flood Alert Service
Wallsend Commercial Area FRMP Implementation Study
Morgan Selwyn Street Floodway
City Wide Flood Signage Review
Flood Education Campaign