Joint media release: Improving floodplain connections program

16 December 2021

Minister for Resources and Water, the Hon Keith Pitt MP
New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, the Hon Melinda Pavey MP


The NSW Government will soon begin work on its improving floodplain connections program, targeting high priority unapproved flood works across the northern Basin.

Federal Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the $10.2m million program, funded by the Commonwealth Government, would complement existing NSW State Government efforts to licence and measure floodplain harvesting by improving floodplain connectivity.

“This program will be delivered by the NSW Government across its various agencies to achieve in two and a half years what would have otherwise taken more than 15 years to realise,” Minister Pitt said.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the Healthy Floodplain Project is about setting a baseline that the whole community can have confidence in.

“This $10.2 million in Commonwealth funding takes the work done to date through the $55 million New South Wales Healthy Floodplains Project and gets surveyors on-ground to assess unapproved flood work structures in 110 priority areas to make sure they are appropriate to have on the floodplain,” Minister Pavey said.

“Over the last three decades a range of unapproved flood works have been constructed that now need to be either removed or modified to ensure they comply with new floodplain management plan rules.

“The survey work, remediation work and – where necessary the removal work – means more work in our regions and more goods and services bought from local suppliers.

“With this work done – the community can have confidence that the structures on New South Wales floodplains are legal and comply with all necessary standards.

“Removing or modifying these works will improve connectivity and boost the health of flood dependent environmental and cultural assets.”

The program will target a range of flood works, including levees, roads, dams, channels and block banks. 

The NSW Government will help landholders with consultation, design and assessment but the land holder will be responsible for the actual removal or modification of unapproved works - overseen by the National Resources Access Regulator.

The 110 priority areas were selected after assessing a range of hydraulic, ecological and cultural impacts.

The program will be delivered by the Department of Planning Industry and Environment, National Resource Access Regulator and WaterNSW thanks to Commonwealth Government funding from the Sustainable Rural Water Use.

The program will begin in January 2022 and is expected to be completed by mid-2024.