Floodplain management

Climate control

Wet weather in early 2012 hit Sydney hard. The resulting floods caused considerable damage to public and private property and some people had to be rescued from their cars.

Plans need to be put in place to safeguard flood-prone areas from this kind of weather. It is also a legal requirement for councils to address flooding issues under the NSW Government's Flood Prone Land Policy, which specifies a staged process:

  1. data collection
  2. flood study
  3. floodplain risk management study
  4. floodplain risk management plan
  5. implementation of the plan.

Floodplain management plans are being put together for areas most at risk of flooding, which will look at the causes and extent of possible flooding and what can be done to help affected areas. Reducing the risk of future flooding means managing flood-prone areas properly with responsible development and drainage infrastructure.

The public is invited to view and comment on the draft plans when they are presented for exhibition. The City publishes the dates for public exhibitions and welcomes feedback from the local community.

Work recommended by the plans could involve:

  • refurbishing stormwater pipes and channels
  • improving drainage flow paths
  • creating channels to direct floodwater away from homes.

Interim Floodplain Management Policy

The City of Sydney Council endorsed its draft Interim Floodplain Management Policy in May 2014. The policy, available for download below, is a responsible and forward-thinking approach to manage flooding issues, which will ensure development in the City is not at undue risk of flood and that proposals do not increase flood risk for existing properties. 

Floodplain management plans - have your say 

Floodplain management plans are being put together for areas most at risk of flooding, which will look at the causes and extent of possible flooding and what can be done to help affected areas. Draft Flood Studies have already been undertaken for 3 catchments: Centennial Park; Rushcutters Bay and Woolloomooloo.  You can download and view these Draft Flood Studies below.


We are now undertaking a Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for each of these 3 catchments, links below.  The purpose of this study and plan is to identify and recommend appropriate actions to manage flood risks in these catchments. Good management of flood risks can help reduce damage and improve social and economic opportunities. Download the brochures that explain the objectives of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for each of the 3 catchments.


If you’re a local resident or business operator, we want to hear about your experience of floods in your catchment area. Your comments are a valuable source of information and will help us identify how we can better manage and potentially minimise floods. Please complete the online survey. 

Centennial Park Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan - have your say

Rushcutters Bay  Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan - have your say

Woolloomooloo Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan - have your say.  

Please complete the questionnaire relating to your catchment by 20 July 2014.  

Alexandra Canal

The City has prepared a draft flood study and a draft floodplain risk management study and plan for the Alexandra Canal catchment.

The draft studies and plan were on public exhibition from 28 October 2013 until 25 November 2013. The documents are available for download below.

Blackwattle Bay

The area considered for this study includes Glebe, Chippendale, Darlington and parts of Camperdown, Ultimo and Redfern. The areas include a mix of residential, commercial, industrial and parklands that are spread over 315 hectares.

A draft flood study has been prepared for Blackwattle Bay and was reported to the Environment Committee of Council on 3 December 2012. The documents are also available for download below. The City is preparing a floodplain risk management study and plan for the Blackwattle Bay catchment area.

Centennial Park

The Centennial Park catchment includes parts of Paddington, Moore Park and Centennial Park. The overall catchment is about 153 hectares. Land uses within the catchment include residential, commercial and industrial properties as well as parklands.

A draft study has been prepared for the Centennial Park catchment and was reported to the Environment Committee of Council on 19 August 2013. The documents are also available for download below. 

The City is now undertaking a floodplain risk management study for this catchment. 

Sydney City Area and Darling Harbour

The City has prepared draft flood studies for the City Area and Darling Harbour catchments.  The City Area catchment includes Millers Point, Barangaroo and parts of Sydney. The area covers about 199 hectares within the City’s local area.

The Darling Harbour catchment includes the inner-city suburbs of Haymarket, Surry Hills and part of Pyrmont, Ultimo and Sydney. This area covers around 307 hectares. The City Area catchment drains into Sydney Harbour at a number of locations and the Darling Harbour catchment drains to Darling Harbour via Sydney Water’s trunk drainage system.

The studies collect valuable historical flood information, develop hydrologic and hydraulic computer models and determine flood behaviour in these catchment areas.

Information from these findings will assist with development of the City’s Floodplain Risk Management Studies and Floodplain Risk Management Plans for these areas. These documents will be available for the community late 2015.

For the council report and attachments, see Item 6, Environment Committee meeting of 5 May 2014

Green Square-West Kensington

The area is about 240 hectares in size, with the City directly responsible for 64 hectares. Paddington, Darlinghurst, Edgecliff and Rushcutters Bay are included in the plan. A mix of residential, commercial and industrial properties exist within this area.

The Green Square-West Kensington catchment flood study was completed in 2008. The documents are also available for download below. The Green Square-West Kensington Floodplain Risk Management Study and the Green Square Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Plan were adopted by Council on 24 June 2013.

Johnstons Creek

This flood management plan includes the suburbs of Annandale, Camperdown, Forest Lodge and parts of Glebe and Newtown. The overall area is approximately 224 hectares and the land uses are a mix of residential, commercial, industrial and parklands.

A draft flood study has been prepared for Johnstons Creek and was reported to the Environment Committee of Council on 3 December 2012. The documents are also available for download below.

The City is preparing a floodplain risk management study and plan for the Johnstons Creek catchment area.

Rushcutters Bay

Parts of Paddington, Darlinghurst and Rushcutters Bay are suburbs included within this catchment, which covers an area of about 64 hectares within the City of Sydney. The Rushcutters Bay flood study was reported to the Environment Committee of Council on 19 August 2013. The documents are also available for download below.

The City is now undertaking a floodplain risk management study for this catchment.

Woolloomooloo

Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Potts Point and parts of Rushcutters Bay are suburbs included in this catchment, which covers an area of about 265 hectares. The City and Sydney Water have jointly prepared a flood study for this catchment. The study was reported to the Environment Committee of Council on 19 August 2013. The documents are also available for download below.

The City is now undertaking a floodplain risk management study for this catchment.

Previous surveys

Thank you for your comments about previous flood experiences and potential mitigation options.

The local knowledge of residents and business operators, including your personal experiences of flooding is a valuable source of information for the City.

Links

NSW Government: Floodplain Development Manual

Draft Interim Floodplain Management Policy Document Downloads
Draft Interim Floodplain Management Policy
Draft Interim Floodplain Management Policy PDF 779.3 KB Download

Last updated: Monday, 30 June 2014