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We rely on floodplains for:

  • food and energy production
  • transport
  • recreation
  • biodiversity values.

Rivers, wetlands, floodplains and the ocean are also important for many fish species to complete their life cycles. Flooding delivers long-term benefits to soils and agricultural production. Flooding also helps exchange nutrients between habitats.

Managing floods in Victoria

Managing floods involves 3 main types of activities:

  • prevention or mitigation which involves work before a flood
  • response activities during a flood
  • recovery actions taken after a flood.

Management of floods and floodplains involves several groups including:

  • relevant authorities
  • local councils
  • emergency services
  • the community.

The role of governments in flood management

The Australian Government is responsible for:

  • national flood management programs
  • flood forecasting.

The Victorian Government is responsible for:

  • state flood policy
  • funding for state flood management programs.

Local councils:

  • regulate development through their planning schemes
  • co-fund flood studies and manage flood mitigation infrastructure.

The role of catchment management authorities in flood management

Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and Melbourne Water lead the development and implementation of regional floodplain management strategies. They work in consultation with local stakeholders and communities.

They also provide flood advice to municipal councils and landholders.

Landowners and flood management

You are accountable for flood management on your own property. Local knowledge and experience can play a key role in flood preparation and reduce damage from flooding.

Flood risk mapping is available for many high-risk urban areas in Victoria. It is not available for the entire state including many rural areas. Where available, flood risk mapping can assist with planning for floods and can be found on the Digital Twin Victoria platform or by contacting your Local Council or relevant Catchment Management Authority.

The Emergency Management Manual

The Emergency Management Manual Victoria describes the roles and responsibilities of agencies involved in flood prevention, response and recovery.

You can find out more by visiting the Emergency Management Victoria website.

Page last updated: 01/05/24