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Guidance On Building In Flood Prone Areas – a NSW Report

Reducing Vulnerability of Buildings to Flood Damage

In June 2006, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Floodplain Management Steering Committee, Parramatta commissioned the production of the Reducing Vulnerability of Buildings to Flood Damage publication below.  It is copyright under the Berne Convention. Copying of this booklet is permitted providing that the meaning is unchanged and the source is acknowledged. ISBN 0 7347 5614 3 Illustrations by Greg Gaul and Metro Graphics Group.

It is a comprehensive, 162 page resource and the cost comparisons must be read with an acceptance that this report is 16 years old.

In the floodplai the potential for serious flood damages and losses following severe flooding of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River first became apparent during studies in the early 1990s. A strategy was required to ensure that should a flood event occur, that all loss, both personal and economic be minimised. The NSW Government has addressed this flood risk by allocating over $71 million to the Hawkesbury-Nepean Floodplain Management Strategy. A Steering Committee which included key government agencies, local councils and community representatives, oversaw the implementation of the Strategy. Under the Committee’s guidance, improved flood warning and emergency response measures, upgraded evacuation routes, recovery planning and a regional floodplain management study have been put in place.


These guidelines have been produced through the Hawkesbury-Nepean Floodplain Management Steering Committee.

The contribution from the many sources involved in their production is gratefully acknowledged. Special acknowledgment is given to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for their valued contribution to the guidelines under a partnership arrangement with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR).  CSIRO provided substantial advice on the behaviour of materials under immersion and flood conditions which forms the basis of these guidelines.  In addition, CSIRO undertook specific materials testing, computer flow modelling, and derived the equivalent N classification design procedure.

Significant contributors to these guidelines were:

  • Department of Natural Resources
  • The University of New South Wales (via the Australian Centre for Construction Innovation)
  • The University of Newcastle
  • Granger Consulting
  • Coffey Geosciences
  • Napier and Blakeley
  • Macquarie University

Mullum Cares receives $10 000 grant from the Northern Rivers Community Foundation to assist residential property owners to rebuild flood resilient

Mullum Cares is frequently referred to by ZEB as they inspire and enable our community to reduce emissions by changing their consumer behaviour.  Plasterboard walls, chipboard cabinetry and furniture, carpets and floating floorboards on yellow tongue subfloors (amongst a long list of non flood resilient materials) must now be considered single use products in properties that are prone to flooding.  With the likelihood of skyrocketing flood insurance premiums as the alternative,  investing in rebuilding our homes and businesses to be flood resilient is an option Mullum Cares and ZEB invite flood affected property owners to consider.

Mullum Cares project is titled Byron Shire Residential Flood Adaptation Project and its purpose is to support as many homes in the Byron Shire as possible to rebuild flood resilient regardless of whether the properties were insured for the recent flooding events or not.  Landlords and owner occupiers are both invited to register for assistance under the project at mullumcares.com.au - head to their Residential Flood Adaptation project page which will be updated with resources and project information over the next few weeks.

Facebook resources for sharing flood adaptation information and giving and receiving donations

If you use Facebook here are some pages and groups involved with the community flood response:

Mullum Cares has created a group specifically to share information like this blog post and for community to contribute their ideas and experience of flood resilient building materials and furniture:

Build Back Better Northern Rivers 

If you have donations in great condition Facebook marketplace and these Fb groups are great ways to not just donate the item but also the time and effort required to get a donation from you into the hands of a person in need.

Unconditional Giving & Receiving Byron & Byron Shire Urgent Flood Assistance

The Library of Stuff is offering FREE memberships to flood impacted locals and are always keen to receive donations of items in great condition that are helpful to people to borrow for a week or two at a time.   All info can be found on their website libraryofstuff.org.au or Fb:

Library of Stuff Mullumbimby

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