New flood works plan starting to bear fruit in NSW

Posted 6 September 2016

Floodplain management Landholders across northern parts of the Murray-Darling Basin are starting to benefit from a streamlined flood works approval process.

The Gwydir Valley Floodplain Management Plan is the first of six floodplain plans to come into effect across the northern valleys of NSW's patch of the Murray-Darling Basin, said DPI Water Director Water Planning and Policy Alison Kirk.

“The purpose of the Gwydir plan is to coordinate the development of flood works on the floodplain, manage the risk to life and property from the effects of flooding and protect and maintain flood connectivity to ecological and cultural features of the floodplain that are dependent on flood waters,” she said.

“The Gwydir plan contains minimal change for landholders, building on current practices through improved knowledge and technology to apply floodplain management arrangements consistently across the whole floodplain.”

Kirk said the plan established management zones and clearly outlined the types of flood works that may be approved, assessment criteria for flood work applications, and rules for granting and amending flood work approvals, including requirements for advertising.

“To ensure a balanced approach, development of the Gwydir plan was overseen by an Interagency Regional Panel incorporating representatives from the Department of Primary Industries – Water, Office of Environment and Heritage, the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services,” she said.

The Upper Namoi Valley floodplain expected to come into effect later this year, followed by the Barwon-Darling Valley and Lower Namoi Valley plans in the second quarter of 2017.

The last two plans – for the Border Rivers Valley and Macquarie Valley – are scheduled for commencement in the third quarter of 2017.

The floodplain management plans are being developed as part of the NSW Healthy Floodplains Project, which is funded by the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative through the NSW Sustaining the Basin Projects program.