FLOODING IN URALLA SHIRE
Council currently has one flood planning area in the Shire. This is in Bundarra and a link to the map showing the flood extent is available to view or download via the following link:
FLD_001A (pdf 179kb)
Controls for development within this area can be found in the Uralla Development Control Plan 2011 – Chapter 11 Floodplain Development and Management, which is available to view or download via the following link:
Uralla Development Control Plan 2011 (pdf 875kb)
Creek flooding can have many undesirable effects including loss of life, damage to property, loss of income, and a high emotional and financial toll on those affected. Emergency services can be overstretched and Local Government is often left to account for planning decisions and to meet the repair bill for public infrastructure. In order to help minimise the risk to people and property from flooding in Uralla, Uralla Shire Council has engaged the services of Paterson Consultants Pty Ltd, Grafton, to assess flood risk along Rocky Creek and Uralla Creeks.
This study is the beginning of a longer term process to examine whether current flood controls are adequate and ensure that appropriate flood measures are adopted, if they are needed. The study was confined to main creek flooding of Rocky and Uralla Creeks through the developed areas of Uralla. The study did not address street drainage issues or overland flooding issues by runoff.
Uralla Shire Council has a statutory obligation to assess various natural hazards and develop appropriate risk management and land use planning policies to address such natural hazards.
Information from the Study will be used for the next stage of Council’s Floodplain Risk Management Process, which is the preparation of a Management Study including recommends for specific management options and the compilation of suitable development controls.
Rocky and Uralla Creek Flood Study (pdf 8Mb)
The Uralla Floodplain Risk Management Committee has been appointed to act as a link between Council and the community and to support the study and planning process. Further information about the Committee can be viewed and downloaded via the following link:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ‘100-year flood’?
A 100-year flood is the flood that will occur or be exceeded on average once every 100 years. It has a probability of 1% of occurring in any given year. Some parts of Australia have received a couple of 100-year floods in one decade. On average, if you live for 70 years in the same area, you have a better than even chance of experiencing a 100-year flood.
Why has Council undertaken a study to identify land subject to flooding?
Flooding causes significant damage to property and risk to life. In order to manage the flood problem and to ensure that new development does not exacerbate the problem and is adequately protected (raised floor level) it is necessary to identify land subject to flooding. In order to comply with NSW Planning & Infrastructure policies all Councils are required to undertake studies to determine what land has the potential to be affected by flooding from both elevated sea levels and intense rainfall.
If my land is subject to flooding does this mean I cannot develop my property?
For the majority of residential properties the only effect will be that when re-development occurs the new house must be constructed with a raised floor level. For some properties flow paths across the site may need to be left open to ensure that the proposed development does not divert flood waters onto adjoining properties.
Does this mean I cannot sell my property?
Does this affect the value of my property?
The value of any property can vary significantly depending upon a multitude of factors (global financial crisis, change in interest rates, possible construction of a nearby new road or even shopping centre). The magnitude of affectation on your property value due to it being identified as flood liable is impossible to determine. The notification may affect one potential buyer’s decision to purchase a property but for another it may have no impact. Ultimately, it is the market that determines the value. A major advantage of this process is that it should ensure that your neighbour does not develop in such a way that it diverts flood waters onto your property and so disadvantage your own property and consequently reduce its value.
Will Council compensate me for any loss of value?
Property values fluctuate for a variety of reasons over any given period of time. Council cannot predict how property values will change over time and cannot take responsibility for changes in property value. Under the NSW Government’s Flood Prone Land Policy, management of flood prone land is primarily the responsibility of councils. As a consequence many other councils across NSW have undertaken studies to manage flood.
Does this affect my property insurance?
Council is not in a position to advise you on this matter, your policy is a matter between you and your insurer. You will need to contact them directly. Flood insurance is based on the level of risk and consequent damages from flooding.
Can I appeal this classification?
The study is currently a draft and is on public exhibition from Friday 21 March 2014 until Monday 28 April 2014. Council is asking for your feedback on any aspect. The study has been undertaken by expert hydraulic engineers with extensive experience and expertise in this field. The outcomes are based on an assessment of detailed survey, rainfall and historical flood records. Council welcomes written submissions on the draft Policy.
Will I have to undertake a flood study when I want to develop my land?
It depends on the scale of the development. If you intend to change the use or extend the existing building or build a new building you might be required to carry out a flood effect report to ensure that the works do not disadvantage your neighbours. The results from Council’s study will be made available to you and will assist you in completing your study.
I don’t believe that my land is flood prone, I have lived here for many years and have never seen a flood waters on my land?
There are limited records of past floods across the study area. Floods do not occur in a regular pattern following extensive rain every river and creek will flood. Thus you may get a period of no floods and a period of several floods.
What is Council doing about the flooding problem?
This study is the first stage in addressing the flood problem. Management and mitigation measures will be considered in the next stage. However, unfortunately it is impossible to eliminate flooding even with the construction of large flood mitigation dams or concrete lining of channels. For this reason raising the floor level of all new houses is essential in flood identified areas.
A copy of these questions can be viewed and downloaded via the following link:
Frequently Asked Questions (pdf 42kb)
This project has been made possible by NSW and Commonwealth Government funding under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.