NSW Department of Planning and Environment

2022 Flood inquiry response

The NSW Government commissioned an independent expert inquiry into the preparation for, causes of, response to and recovery from the 2022 catastrophic flood event across NSW. The report and recommendations from this inquiry has now been delivered.

The department will be working with other agencies and importantly key stakeholders, like councils, on the implementation of the Government response to the Report.

We are committed to ensuring there is greater resilience in communities across NSW.

Further updates on the department’s response to the inquiry will be provided in due course.


Keeping our communities safe

Significant flood events like the catastrophic floods in 2022 or those in Brisbane in 2011 show the importance of managing flood risk in land use planning. 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 and Environment works closely with our colleagues in Environment and Heritage who manage and monitor our wetlands, rivers, floodplains, coasts and estuaries. The department also works with 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 finalised flood-prone land package commenced on 14 July 2021.

The package provides advice to councils on considering flooding in land-use planning and includes:

View the finalised package

To accompany the finalised package, a submission’s report is also available. The report summarises feedback received during exhibition and how that feedback was addressed in the final documents.

The updated guidance:

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

For further information about the changes:

Councils' expression of interest

The department has asked councils to submit their interest to incorporate the optional standard instrument ‘special flood considerations’ clause to apply to their LEP.

Following the expression of interest, we will undertake targeted engagement with relevant councils and develop an appropriate review mechanism, seeking external views, to assist both a council and the department in evaluating whether the adoption of the clause in the local environmental plan is appropriate.

More information

If you have any queries, you can contact stakeholder.engagement@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 18/08/2022