Floodplain Development Manual update

The draft Flood Risk Management Manual Package updates the Floodplain Development Manual (2005 Manual) and a number of the existing technical guides.

It has been developed as part of the technical and policy advice provided by the Department of Planning and Environment to Local Councils that supports the delivery of the Flood Prone Land Policy through the Floodplain Management Program.

The manual provides advice to local councils on the management of flood risk in their local government areas through the flood risk management framework and flood risk management process.

This update builds on the 2005 manual and guides. It considers lessons learnt from floods and the application of the flood risk management process and manual since 2005. It considers a range of work on managing natural hazards across government, including relevant national and international frameworks, strategies and best practice guidance.

The draft package includes the Flood Risk Management Manual and a range of new flood risk management guides for the Flood Risk Management Toolkit. The manual and guides replace and expand on the advice provided in the 2005 manual and a number of existing flood risk management guides.

Opportunities to comment on the documents have now closed, but any questions you may have can be sent to the Flood Team.

Document Description What is being Replaced
Flood Risk Management Manual Updates to the Flood Prone Land Policy and provides advice to councils on managing flood risk to their communities to improve community resilience through the flood risk management framework and flood risk management process. The 2005 manual
Flood Risk Management Guideline
Administration Arrangements guide
Outlines current guidance and tools available to support councils in flood risk management, current state agency flood risk management roles and responsibilities and relevant legislative links. Advice on state agency roles and responsibility in the 2005 manual
Delivery under the flood risk management framework
Describes delivery of the flood risk management framework as well as key steps in undertaking flood risk management projects under the flood risk management process and identifies how other flood risk management guides and tools can assist. The 2005 manual: parts of Appendices C to I on the Flood Risk Management process
Understanding and Managing Flood Risk FB01 Understanding and managing flood risks to the existing community through flood risk management measures, land use planning and emergency management. The 2005 manual: Appendices B and K and parts of the 2007 Practical consideration of climate change guide 
Flood Function
Methods to determine flow conveyance and storage areas of the floodplain. The 2005 manual: advice in Appendix L on hydraulic categorisation as well as the 2007 Floodway Definition guide
Flood Hazard
Determining flood hazard in studies under the Floodplain Management Program. The 2005 manual: advice in Appendix L on hazard categorisation
Flood Risk Management Measures MM01 Outlines typical flood risk management measures to address the risk to the existing community and future development and supports identifying and assessing flood risk management measures (including flood damage).

Note: This is to be supported by a Flood Damage Estimation Tool FD01 (XLSX 2.0MB). The tool is currently undergoing refinement and testing. An early draft version is provided to give an indication of its scope and operation. It contains some sample data. It is not to be used for assessment.
The 2005 manual: advice in Appendices J and M as well as the following 2007 guides:
Support for Emergency Management Planning EM01 Outlines key emergency management principles for flooding. Provides advice on flood risk management information to support emergency management, flood emergency response classification of communities and considering flood emergency management constraints in decision-making.
Part A Flood Risk Management and Emergency Management planning: provides an overview of emergency management planning and linkages to the flood risk management framework and process.
Part B – Emergency Management information from the flood risk management process: describes the information needed for flood emergency management that is derived in the flood risk management process.
Part C – Flood emergency response classification of communities: describes how to classify areas of the community based on their flood emergency response issues.
Part D – Considering flood emergency management constraints in decision-making: discusses how flood emergency management can be considered in council decision-making under the flood risk management process.
The 2005 manual: Advice in Appendix N as well as the following 2007 guides:
Flood Impact and Risk Assessment
Outlines considerations for assessment of flooding in studies to support developments.  

The manual package provides:

  • a name that better reflects the role of the manual in supporting local councils to understand and manage flood risk to improve flood resilience within communities.
  • a vision for flood risk management in New South wales consistent with national best practice
  • a clear set of principles for councils to consider in flood risk management for their communities
  • more clarity and adaptability on state agency roles and responsibilities
  • ongoing support for the flexible merit-based approach that has allowed councils to successfully manage flooding to their communities on a risk basis
  • a platform to support continual improvement in technical guidance
  • more emphasis of the importance of improved accessibility to flood information and tailoring information to suit the varied needs of end users
  • more emphasis on the importance of examining scenarios that consider the impacts of future development, climate change, and catchment changes on flooding so this information is available to inform decisions
  • more clarity on advice on how councils can fulfil their responsibilities in managing flood risk in urban areas across their local government area through a flood risk management framework, consistent with national best practice. This advice outlines the importance of:
    • having effective flood risk management governance arrangements
    • setting directions and undertaking forward planning for flood risk management
    • managing flood information and making it available to inform decisions within and outside of government
    • considering flood risk strategically in emergency management, infrastructure and land use planning decisions
    • ensuring long term asset management of flood mitigation infrastructure in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework
    • engaging with the community on flood risk management activities.