Delays on flood mapping as shire waits for state

David Braithwaite

UPDATE: Wellington Shire Council approved the motion to delay the flood mapping and flood policy until the state government confirmed its position.

WELLINGTON Shire Council could delay further updates to its flood mapping and flood policy.

Pending a motion being passed during today’s meeting, council will delay the implementation of Amendment C99 until the state-wide policy and strategy are finalised.

Amendment C99 to the Wellington Planning Scheme was to update regulations for floodways and land subject to inundation overlays to reflect the latest data from the West Gippsland and East Gippsland catchment management authorities, including the introduction of overlays on land identified as being subject to coastal inundation in the year 2100.

The adoption of any updates has been delayed twice since June, with council seeking a comprehensive policy position from the state government on coastal flooding and climate change adaptation. Council received a letter in October from Planning Minister Richard Wynne, identifying support for the proposed planning scheme amendment, including its application to Port Albert.

In 2013, the planning minister at the time, Matthew Guy, approved flood overlays across the shire, but not in urban-zoned areas of Port Albert.

The current minister wrote again to council in November, saying the government’s approach to managing coastal hazards and the effects of coastal climate change was being further developed.

This includes the finalisation of a marine and coastal policy this month, and the development of a marine and coastal strategy next year to provide a state-wide approach to coastal hazard planning and adaptation.

The amendment would affect areas of land currently subject to riverine and coastal inundation, as well as introduce flood controls in townships such as Dargo and Port Albert.