Introduction

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

The ‘Building Flood Resilience in Victoria’ initiative represents the next tranche of Victorian Government 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 nine regional floodplain management strategies in place. Together they give a statewide picture of Victoria’s priorities for flood mitigation investment for the next four years.

EC5 Expenditure to date

Program Title (EC5)

2020-21 Expenditure $’000

Building flood resilience in Victoria

6,630

Summary of progress in Year 1 of EC5

The first year of implementation of the $26.7 million building flood resilience in Victoria initiative has seen preparations for 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 the work already completed by local councils, floodplain management agencies and their communities developing Victoria’s nine 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. In keeping with previous years, the Risk Resilience Grants Program (RRGP – formally the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme) will be the primary vehicle for 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 was open for applications between April and June 2021 and will see up to $4 million1 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 early in 2021 – 2022 following approval from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The second year of the four-year program will see the first projects to receive funding underway.

Implementing the ten-year Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy has continued throughout the first year of the initiative, with 77 per cent of the strategy’s actions now embedded in practice or fully implemented, and the balance due for completion in the first half of 2021 – 2022. This will see the Strategy fully implemented some four years ahead of schedule.

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.

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; and
  • flood forecasts, flood mapping and property data such as floor heights.

Page last updated: 16/09/21