Floodplain management group to advise on council policy and strategy

MidCoast Council will establish a floodplain management advisory committee to look at issues involving council policies and strategies.

The floodplain management committees that existed before the council merger ceased to exist upon amalgamation.

The MidCoast Council Floodplain Management Advisory Committee will include two MidCoast councillors, council staff, relevant State Government agencies and representatives of affected communities.

Councillors Karen Hutchinson and Peter Epov will serve on the committee, and Cr Epov will chair the committee. Deputy mayor Katheryn Smith is the alternate delegate.

Expressions of interest from community members to join the committee for the remainder of the council term will be sought in January.

Roshan Khadka, council’s coastal and flooding engineer, said council is currently working on a number of floodplain risk management studies and effective management requires key input from a floodplain risk management committee.

The committee will consider current projects and studied such as the Manning River Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, Karuah River and Stroud Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, Gloucester Floodplain Risk Management and Plan, Great Lakes Remote Area Flood Study and Port Stephens Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Review.

The Manning River and Karuah River and Stroud studies and plans have been started and the others will start soon, Mr Khadka said.

“People living near water bodies including major rivers and their tributaries, lakes and coast with the MidCoast Council area have been impacted by many floods of varying severity,” he said. 

The primary objective of the NSW Government Flood Prone Land Policy was to reduce the impact of flooding and flood liability on owners and occupiers of flood prone land and to reduce the private and public losses resulting from floods.

“A key step in the floodplain risk management process for local government is the establishment of a committee through which local community groups and individuals can communicate the aspirations concerning the management of the flooding problem,” Mr Khadka said.

“The committee acts as a forum for the discussion of technical, social, economic, environmental and cultural issues and for the distillation of the different viewpoints of key stakeholders into a management plan.”