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Implementing priority flood risk reduction actions

Major flood events in Victoria cause significant damage to private and public property and infrastructure, lost productivity, and considerable stress and anxiety. Preparing, planning for, and responding to a flood event is key to reducing damage and protecting livelihood.

Implementing priority flood risk reduction actions will enable communities, businesses and government to manage flood risk minimising the consequences to life, property, local economies and community wellbeing.

The department also has obligations in the Emergency Management Manual of Victoria to support VICSES in flood response (primarily through FloodZoom).

Regional floodplain management strategies.

The Building flood resilience in Victoria initiative represents the next tranche of the Victorian Government's investment in priority flood mitigation actions and delivers on Water for Victoria (2016) Action 10.12.

These priorities have been set through collaborating with communities to develop Regional Floodplain Management Strategies. Victoria has 9 regional floodplain management strategies in place. Together they give a statewide picture of Victoria’s priorities for flood mitigation investment for the next 4 years.

Environmental contribution 5 (EC5)

Program title 2020-21 expenditure ($'000) 2021–22
expenditure ($'000)
Building flood resilience in Victoria 6,630 6,662
Bendigo groundwater management 5003,000

Delivering a sustainable solution for Bendigo’s Central Deborah historic mine workings and Bendigo Creek


Highest-priority flood mitigation actions

The first 2 years of implementation of the $26.7 million building flood resilience in Victoria initiative has seen dissemination of the next tranche of investment in Victoria’s highest priority flood mitigation actions.

Communities are well positioned to take advantage of this investment thanks to work already completed by local councils, floodplain management agencies and their communities developing Victoria’s 9 regional floodplain management strategies.

The regional strategies, funded in 2016 by the Victorian Government along with the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy provide a statewide picture of our communities’ highest priorities for this next tranche of funding.

Risk resilience grants program

In keeping with previous years, the Risk Resilience Grants Program (RRGP – formally the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme) is the primary vehicle for the dissemination of government funding to flood mitigation projects.

The revised and updated National Partnership Agreement on disaster risk reduction endorsed in March 2020 has focused the RRGP on achieving risk reduction outcomes, a strong theme of Victoria’s approach to flood mitigation.

The RRGP round 2 was open for applications between April and July 2022 and will see up to $3.2 million of Victorian Government funding distributed to locally led eligible flood mitigation projects, with co-contributions from applicants and the federal government.

Grant applicants, generally local councils and catchment management authorities will be notified of successful proposals in 2022 following approval from the Minister for Emergency Services.

20 projects funded through the RRGP

The second year of the four-year program has seen the 20 projects funded through the RRGP round 1 get underway.

These 20 projects represent the implementation of local and regional priorities for increasing community resilience to flooding, including

  • Thirteen flood study and flood intelligence collection projects
  • four mitigation infrastructure design projects
  • two flood warning service projects
  • one planning scheme amendment.

Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy implementation

Implementing the ten-year Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy has continued throughout the first 2 years of the initiative. All 56 strategy actions now embedded in practice or fully implemented, seeing the strategy fully implemented some 4 years ahead of schedule.

The strategy will continue to inform consistent decisions and actions for management of flood-related issues over its 10 year term from 2016.

Flood intelligence platform - FloodZoom

Investment in FloodZoom (Flood Intelligence Platform) as the authoritative source of flood behaviour data and intelligence for emergency agencies has continued.

The Platform continues to meet user needs primarily the VICSES when responding to and monitoring flood events. The platform greatly improves responder agencies’ capacity to predict the potential consequence of a flood at particular locations.

Further improvements to FloodZoom continue to enable flood analysts to provide timely advice to incident management teams.

FloodZoom is a web-based application for collating data and sharing flood intelligence products between agencies during an incident. FloodZoom brings together:

  • flood related behaviour information, such as recent and historic modelled flood extents, depths, flood levels, study reports and observed flood impacts
  • real time and historical rain and streamflow records
  • flood forecasts, flood mapping and property data such as floor heights.

Bendigo groundwater management

The Bendigo Groundwater Project seeks to

  • prevent mine impacted groundwater discharge from mine shafts into Bendigo’s waterways
  • support Bendigo Heritage Attractions to continue to operate underground tours at the Central Deborah Gold Mine
  • develop long-term sustainable water management approaches to manage mine-impacted groundwater in mine voids beneath central Bendigo.

The Bendigo Groundwater Project is being delivered in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1 - an immediate solution. Implemented immediately, operated until 31 September 2017 and now complete.
  • Phase 2 - an interim solution. Operational by 31 September 2017 and to be in place until the commencement of a long-term solution.
  • Phase 3 - a long-term solution. Operational for a 10 to 30 year timeframe.

Concept design and business case

A concept design and business case for a long-term solution was completed in 2021/22, resulting in government support and funding of a long-term management approach for this issue.

The proposed approach was developed in consultation with key stakeholders and includes the construction of a new purpose-built water treatment plant and associated infrastructure. The approach focuses on removing odours and contaminants from the water and reducing movement of water through underground workings.

Central Deborah Gold Mine

Consultation with operators of the Central Deborah Gold Mine following review of operating arrangements identified that there was an opportunity to improve the current management approach, to improve long-term water quality and focus on the key tourist attractions by altering mine impacted water management from 260m below the surface to 130m.

The change will occur in 2022-23 and will inform long term solution design.

The State and Local Government Advisory Group consisting of the City of Greater Bendigo, DJAARA, North Central CMA, Goulburn Murray Water, Coliban Water, Bendigo Heritage Attractions, DELWP Loddon Mallee, Earth Resources Regulation (DJPR), Regional Development Victoria (DJPR) and EPA (observer) were heavily engaged in the business case development.

The long-term solution is anticipated to take 3 years to design and construct. During this time, mine impacted water will continue to be managed under interim arrangements, preventing new discharges and amenity impacts to Bendigo’s CBD.

Page last updated: 19/09/23