2022 NSW Flood Inquiry
The NSW Government commissioned an independent inquiry into the preparation for, causes of, response to and recovery from the 2022 flood events across NSW. The report and recommendations from this inquiry have now been delivered.
The department is working with other government agencies and key stakeholders, like councils, on the implementation of the government's response to the report as part of its commitment to ensuring there is greater resilience in communities across NSW.
Further updates on the government’s response to the report will be provided in due course.
The flood-prone land package provides advice to councils on considering flooding in land-use planning and commenced on 14 July 2021.
The updated guidance supports:
- better management of flood risk beyond the 1% annual exceedance probability
- best management practices in managing and mitigating severe to extreme flood events
- greater resilience built into communities in floodplains and reduces potential property damage and loss of life in recognition of increasing extreme flood events throughout NSW.
The package includes:
- a revised 9.1 local planning direction on flooding (PDF, 460 KB)
- a new planning circular on flooding: PS 21-006 – Considering flooding in land use planning: guidance and statutory requirements (PDF, 139 KB)
- a new planning circular guideline: PS 21-007 – Consolidation of state environmental planning policies (PDF, 139 KB)
- the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Flood Planning) Order 2021
- the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Flood Planning) Regulation 2021
- the State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Flood Planning) 2021.
Special flood considerations clause
The department is proposing to strengthen planning rules to better protect and manage new development in areas that could be at risk during floods through a special flood considerations clause (clause 5.22 of the Standard Instrument—Principal Local Environmental Plan).
The special flood considerations clause would apply to:
- sensitive and hazardous development, such as caravan parks, hospitals and seniors housing, between the flood planning area and the probable maximum flood level
- development that is not sensitive or hazardous on land that the consent authority considers that, in a flood, may pose a particular risk to life and where people may need to evacuate, or where there are other safety concerns.
In 2021, 32 councils self-nominated to amend their LEPs by inserting the special flood considerations clause.
An explanation of intended effect (EIE) was on exhibition from 17 January until 28 February 2023 seeking feedback on whether to include this clause in the LEPs of these identified councils.
The EIE also proposed updating 11 councils’ LEPs with minor housekeeping changes.
In response to the recommendations of the independent 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry conducted by Mary O’Kane and Mick Fuller, the department also sought feedback from councils on applying the clause to all NSW councils, by inserting the clause in either:
- all NSW council LEPs, or
- the State Environment Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021 (Resilience and Hazards SEPP).
The exhibition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the EIE and feedback on applying the clause to all councils through either council LEPs or the Resilience and Hazards SEPP through a separate SEPP amendment. All comments received during the exhibition of this EIE will be considered when finalising the amendments.