What is public exhibition?

    The Council endorses the public exhibition of draft plans and reports to give our community an opportunity to provide feedback before the documents are finalised and adopted by the elected Council.

    What documents are on public exhibition?

    • Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Risk Management Study Draft Report, and
    • Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Floodplain Risk Management Plan Draft Report

    How long is the exhibition period?

    The exhibition period runs from Monday 10 May 2021 for a total of 28 Days.

    How can I provide my feedback during the public exhibition?

    1. Send written submissions to: General Manager, Bellingen Shire Council, Box 117, Bellingen NSW 2310
    2. Email to: council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

    Why has Council developed the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Final Draft reports?

    Bellingen Shire Council is committed to building more flood resilient communities across our LGA.

    Under NSW planning laws, councils are responsible for managing local flood planning.  Council has prepared a comprehensive Flood Study and Risk Management Study and Plan for the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers catchment, which defines the nature of flood risk in the area and provides recommendations for more effective flood management.

    This recent flood management assessment has been developed in consideration of the several previous studies including the 2002 Floodplain Risk Management Plan and 2016 Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Study.

    What areas are included in the Flood Study area?

    The study area generally relates to the townships of Bellingen, Raleigh. Repton, Mylestom and Urunga and is defined as:

    • 3.5km upstream of Lavenders Bridge on the Bellinger River,
    • 2.5 km upstream of Brierfield Bridge on the Kalang River, and
    • Downstream to the Pacific Ocean.

    What is the purpose of the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Study?

    The Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Study determines the nature and extent of the potential flood problem.  Calibrated computer modelling was used to determine flood levels, flows and velocities based on the available design rainfall and streamflow data.

    Maps have been produced indicating the peak water depths, contours, velocities, hazard and hydraulic classification for the full range of design flood events, namely:

    • 50% AEP event (2 Year ARI)
    • 20% AEP event (5 Year ARI)
    • 10% AEP event (10 Year ARI)
    • 5% AEP event (20 Year ARI)
    • 2% AEP event (50 Year ARI)
    • 1% AEP event (100 Year ARI)
    • 0.5% AEP event (200 Year ARI)
    • Probable Maximum Flood (PMF)
    • Note:AEP = Annual Exceedance Probability - the chance of a flood of a given or larger size occurring in any one year, usually expressed as a percentage.
      ARI = Annual Recurrence Interval - the long-term average number of years between the occurrence of a flood as big as, or larger than, the selected event.

    What is the purpose of the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan?

    The objectives of the present Study are to identify and compare various management options, including an assessment of their social, economic and environmental impacts, together with opportunities to enhance the floodplain environments. It also seeks to ensure future development is controlled in a manner consistent with the flood hazard and risk at this time, and in the future as a result of predicted climate change.

    The objectives of the Risk Management Study are to identify and compare various management options, including an assessment of their social, economic and environmental impacts, together with opportunities to enhance the floodplain environments.

    Key drivers for undertaking the present study and plan include:

    • The need for an updated understanding of flood risk and flood behaviour, incorporating the recently adopted updated national flood guidelines (ARR, 2016/9).
    • The need for an updated decision-making process for land use planning and development controls.
    • The need for development and appraisal of floodplain management measures appropriate to the location and acceptable to the local community economically, socially and environmentally.

    The Floodplain Risk Management Plan builds on the Flood Study to identify a number of measures, which can be used to reduce flood risks in the catchment in the future such as:

    • setting appropriate floor levels for development;
    • identifying works to reduce flooding; and
    • raising community awareness of flooding issues so that they can take necessary precautions.

    The Floodplain Risk Management Plan assesses the options considered in the Risk Management Study and recommends options for adoption by Council.

    The preparation of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan is the final step in the flood management process and once finalised and adopted will guide Council's actions and future planning.

    How was the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Floodplain Risk Management Study used in the development of the Plan?

    The Floodplain Risk Management Study identified and assessed the flood management options available, potential economic or ecological costs and potential impacts of flooding on local properties.

    The Floodplain Risk Management Plan was developed based on the investigations and outcomes of the Study.

    What are the key aspects of the Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan to be reviewed?

    • The predicted flood extent (shown in the Flood Study Final Draft Report) matches the community’s experience of flooding in the area;
    • The accuracy and appropriateness of the recommended ranked priority list of actions.

    What are the ‘High Priority’ Flood Risk Management measures in the Plan?

    • Flood Awareness and Preparedness;
    • Evacuation Planning;
    • Raise Frenchmans Creek Low Point;
    • Raise Waterfall Way 500mm above the existing level or equal to the 5 year ARI flood level;
    • House Raising.

    More information on the recommended priority ranking matrix and subsequent ranked priority list can be found in Section 2 Recommended Management Measures, page 4, and Section 3. Flood Risk Management Plan on page 11 of the Report.

    How were the Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan undertaken?

    Council engaged specialist consultant WMAwater Pty Ltd to undertake a flood study and prepare a comprehensive floodplain risk management study and plan for the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers catchment and its tributaries.

    Where can I view a hard copy of the Final Draft Reports?

    • Council Administration Building, 33-39 Hyde Street, Bellingen.

    Who is invited to give feedback?

    • Residents affected by flooding in areas surrounding Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers are encouraged to provide feedback.
    • It is open to anyone who is interested flood management in the study catchment area.

    Why is community feedback important?

    Community input into Council strategies and plans during public exhibition periods helps to ensure they meet the needs of all aspects of the community and all views are considered.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    Caroline Szary, Council's Operations Engineer

    Phone: 02 6655 7300 or email council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

    What are the next steps?

    Feedback on the Lower Bellinger and Kalang Rivers Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Final Draft Reports will be reported and appropriately incorporated into the final draft submitted to Council for endorsement.  Once endorsed, Council Officers will implement the Plan.