IAG welcomes NSW Government floodplain management reforms
31 May 2021
IAG today welcomed the NSW Government’s land use planning reforms for flood-prone areas which will help to protect lives, property and infrastructure.
The Flood Prone Land Package rules and guidelines give councils more flexibility to make informed decisions on land planning in flood-prone areas. This includes better management of flood risk above the 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP), best management practices in managing and mitigating severe flood events and building greater community resilience in floodplains.
Under the reforms, councils will also need to consider flood evacuation routes and the impacts of climate change as part of development planning.
IAG has long advocated that land use planning needs to move away from measuring flood risk using the traditional 1% AEP standard (a 1-in-100-year flood event) mandated under the previous planning guidelines, towards more appropriate assessments which consider the risks to life, safety and the wider economic impacts of a full range of possible severe flood events.
IAG Executive Manager Natural Perils Mark Leplastrier said land use planning, development controls and building standards are the most effective ways to reduce the impacts of flooding and other natural disasters.
“Land use planning is one of the most important things we need to get right to protect households and communities from the devastating impacts of severe floods,” Mr Leplastrier said.
“Unfortunately, many people build or buy a house in a flood zone without realising the level of risk they face or not having experienced a major flood in their lifetime.
“These reforms are an important step in greater alignment of land use planning with the flood risk of a particular area and will help ensure we’re doing everything we can to not put people in harm’s way.”
The NSW Government’s Flood Prone Land Package will result in improved community resilience, which has flow on affects to other key issues such as the affordability of insurance in new property developments which have considered the range of potential flood impacts in line with the planning reforms.