Floodplain Management Plan
The NSW Government's Flood Policy is directed at providing solutions to existing flooding problems in developed areas, and ensuring that new developments are compatible with the flood hazard and do not create additional flooding problems in other areas. Under the Policy, the management of flood prone land remains the responsibility of local government. To facilitate this, the Government provides funding in support of floodplain risk management programs.
The policy provides for a floodplain risk management system comprising the following sequential stages:
- Flood Study - Determines the nature and extent of the flood problem.
- Floodplain Risk Management Study - Evaluates management options for the floodplain with respect to both existing and future development.
- Floodplain Risk Management Plan - Involves formal adoption by Council of a plan of management for the floodplain.
- Implementation of the Plan - Involves construction of flood mitigation works, where viable, to protect existing development. - Uses planning controls to ensure that future development is compatible with flood hazards.
- Review of Plan - Review of plan to ensure it remains current and appropriate. A review is normally carried out after 10 years.
Orange City Council is responsible for local planning and land management in the Blackmans Swamp Creek floodplain. Council proposes to develop a floodplain risk management plan in accordance with the NSW Floodplain Development Manual (2005).
Floodplain Risk Management Community Committee
Floodplain risk management plans are formulated under the guidance of the Floodplain Risk Management Community Committee (FRMCC) which was formed by Orange City Council in March 2000 and consists of representatives from Council, State Government agencies, the local community and Central West Catchment Management Authority. The charter of the FRMCC is to identify the main issues affecting the floodplain and progress the preparation of a management plan to address any identified flood problems.
The Blackmans Swamp Creek floodplain affects a significant proportion of the urban area of the city of Orange including the CBD. The city of Orange is located in the Central West of NSW about 260 km west of Sydney. The study area comprises the waterways and adjacent low lying lands of Blackmans Swamp Creek and its tributaries including Rifle Range Creek and the East Orange Creek and adjoining floodplains.
Some development within the catchment including the CBD is prone to flooding with potentially high hazard and damage. Large floods in recent history occurred in 1984 and 1999.
The overall objective of the study is to develop a floodplain risk management plan for the study area that addresses the existing, future and continuing flood problems, in accordance with the NSW Government's Flood Policy, as detailed in the NSW Floodplain Development Manual. It is envisaged that the study will be undertaken in 2 stages as indicated below.
Floodplain Risk Management Study
The objectives of the floodplain risk management study are listed as follows:
- Examination of the relationship between Council's current flood policy and strategy with Council's environmental planning policies and instruments (including Council's long-term planning strategies for the Blackmans Swamp Creek floodplain) and identifying any conflicts. Identified conflicts are to be addressed and strategies developed.
- Examination of the present level of flood awareness and current evacuation plans in the context of the NSW State Emergency Service's developments and disaster planning requirements.
- Facilitation of a public consultation program to ensure effective community consultation and participation throughout the study.
- Recommend appropriate flood planning levels.
- Identification of works, measures and restrictions aimed at reducing the social, environmental and economic impacts of flooding and the losses flooding caused by development and the community, both existing and future, over the full range of potential flood events. Council is looking for innovative solutions to the management of the flood hazards in the Blackmans Swamp Creek floodplain with an emphasis on planning options and that can be integrated in the Land use Strategy as part of the review of Council's LEP.
- Assessment of the effectiveness of these works and measures which may reduce the effects of flooding on the community and development, both existing and future.
- Consideration of whether the proposed works and measures might produce adverse effects (environmental, social, economic, or flooding) in the floodplain and whether they can be minimised.
- Identification of modifications that are required to current policies in the light of investigations.
Floodplain Risk Management Plan
The objectives of the floodplain risk management plan are listed below:
- Reduce the flood hazard and risk to people and property in the existing community and to ensure future development is controlled in a manner consistent with the flood hazard and risk.
- Reduce private and public losses due to flooding.
- Protect and, where possible, enhance the river and floodplain environment.
- Be consistent with the objectives of relevant State policies, in particular, the Government's Flood Prone Lands and State Rivers and Estuaries Policies and satisfy the objectives and requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.
- Ensure that the floodplain risk management plan is fully integrated with Council's existing corporate, business and strategic plans, existing and proposed planning proposals, and policies that meet Council's obligations under the Local Government Act, 1993 and has the support of the local community.
- Ensure actions arising out of the management plan are sustainable in social, environmental, ecological and economic terms.
- Ensure that the floodplain risk management plan is fully integrated with the local emergency management plan (flood plan) and other relevant catchment management plans.
- Establish a program for implementation and a mechanism for the funding of the plan and should include priorities, staging, funding, responsibilities, constraints, and monitoring.
Preparation of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan
Lyall and Associates Consulting Water Engineers have prepared the Draft Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan and submissions from the public have been received. These were considered in the compilation of the final report which was adopted by Council on 1 October 2009.