National award for Hawkesbury-Nepean flood resilience plan

A community program to increase resilience in one of NSW’s most flood-exposed areas has been recognised by Floodplain Management Australia.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Community Resilience Program was awarded FMA’s Flood Risk Management Project of the Year Award on 31 May.

Prepared by the NSW State Emergency Service and Infrastructure NSW, the program includes 19 projects in partnership with government agencies, local councils, emergency services, NGOs, and an education and engagement program for young people and their schools.

FMA president Ian Dinham said the project is an exceptional example of how a comprehensive approach that focuses on broad communication and deep engagement can categorically improve the flood awareness and preparedness of local communities.

“It is critical to be proactive with our communities in terms of preparing for natural disasters, especially flood events,” he said.

“Not only will it save millions of dollars in restoration and reconstruction, it will save the lives of many loved ones.”

As part of the award, the project team will receive $10,000 to continue their work.

In related news, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has updated guidance for councils on land-use planning that adequately considers flooding risks.

The flood-prone land package will begin on 14 July 2021, with councils required to amend their land-use planning documents before the changes take effect.