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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Keeping our communities safe

Significant flood events, like those in Brisbane in 2011 and those more recently in NSW show the importance of managing flood risk up to and beyond the 1% annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood and considering flood risks up to the probable maximum flood level. This will build resilience in communities located on floodplains and reduce the extent of property damage and potential loss of life from severe to extreme flooding throughout NSW.


The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment works closely with our colleagues in the Environment Energy and Science division, who manage and monitor our wetlands, rivers, floodplains, coasts and estuaries, as well as other agencies such as Resilience NSW, the NSW State Emergency Service who are the lead combat agency for flood, storm and tsunami events; and Infrastructure NSW who lead the implementation of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Strategy.


Updated guidance for councils

The department has now finalised the flood-prone land package, which provides advice to councils on considering flooding in land-use planning.


The package of material includes:

  • a revised 9.1 local planning direction on flooding
  • a new planning circular on flooding
  • a new guideline: Considering Flooding in Land Use Planning 
  • Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Flood Planning) Order 2021
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Flood Planning) Regulation 2021, which amends 10.7 planning certificates.
  • State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Flood Planning) 2021.


The finalised package will commence on 14 July 2021 and councils are required to amend their land-use planning documents before the changes commence.


The updated guidance will:

  • support better management of flood risk beyond the 1% annual exceedance probability,
  • ensure best management practices in managing and mitigating severe to extreme flood events, and
  • build greater resilience into communities in floodplains and reduce potential property damage and loss of life in recognition of increasing extreme flood events throughout NSW.


For further information about the changes, please read our frequently asked questions (PDF, 150 KB).


Information sessions

To help councils and other stakeholders gain a better understanding of the finalised package, two webinar sessions will be held in the coming month.


The webinar will outline the changes from the existing to the finalised flood-prone land package and provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions directly with a Specialist Planning Officer.


To attend a webinar, please register online for the relevant session:


Consultation and feedback

The draft flood-prone land package was on exhibition from 30 April 2020 until 25 June 2020.


All documents related to the proposed package can be viewed on the Planning Portal.


Councils can opt in

We are also asking councils to submit their interest to incorporate the optional standard instrument ‘special flood considerations’ clause to apply to their LEP. A separate SEPP amendment will be undertaken by the department for those councils that choose to opt into the ‘special flood considerations’ clause.


Submit your interest by 30 June 2021 if you wish to opt in.


Express your interest


More information

If you have any queries, you can contact a Specialist Planning Officer - Floodplain Management at

Page last updated: 26/05/2021