We responded to an inquiry from A Current Affair, regarding the Lara Flood Study.
Greater Geelong Director City Services Guy Wilson-Browne:
properties has City of Greater Geelong rezoned with flood overlay in Lara, that
were not previously covered by flood overlay?
properties have been designated as land liable to flooding. No properties
have been rezoned. Council has prepared Amendment C339ggee to the Planning Scheme
and it is currently on public exhibition and open for comment.
The Amendment proposes
changes to planning controls in areas identified as flood prone. The Special
Building Overlay would be applied in urban areas, with the Land Subject to
Inundation Overlay and Floodway Overlay to be applied in rural or streamside
areas. Small portions
of six properties would be zoned to the Urban Floodway Zone.
this decision based on?
The Lara Flood
Study was a joint initiative between the City, Corangamite Catchment Management
Authority, and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Lara is
particularly flat, low lying and vulnerable to flooding, but existing data and
maps were inadequate to best identify and mitigate the risks.
The flood study
has determined risk using a detailed scientific process that combines current
and historical data, survey work and flood modelling. It is based on a
1% Annual Exceedance Probability (1 in 100 year) event.
Will City of
Greater Geelong seek a second opinion?
A peer review
of the independent consultant’s methodology was previously conducted. The
report was endorsed by Council in July 2020.
What did the
Lara Flood Study cost City of Greater Geelong?
project has cost $560,129. The City has
spent $5,289 on the study, with in-kind contributions of $147,840. A further
$407,000 was provided by Victorian Government agencies.
Does City of
Greater Geelong accept that some properties may have been incorrectly
classified with the flood designation?
identified that some properties designated as liable to flood may only be
impacted by minor floods, and we will determine if the overlay designation
should be retained on those properties. We will be directly contacting these
Is there an
avenue of appeal for homeowners who feel they’ve been incorrectly classified?
Findings of the
Lara Flood Study are proposed to be incorporated into the Planning Scheme via Amendment
C339ggee. The proposed
amendment is out for public comments and submissions will be received until 31
consider all submissions to the Amendment. Where submissions cannot be
resolved, an Independent Panel will be appointed by the Minister for Planning
to consider submissions.
any change to a flood designation needs to go through a revocation request. The property
owner must demonstrate works have been undertaken to mitigate flooding risk.
City of Greater Geelong respond to the likely raise in home insurance that
homeowners will face as a result of this decision?
The study is
aimed at better protecting our residents, their properties and community
infrastructure. The information
we have gained will ensure that all buildings and developments are built to a
standard that will protect them against future flooding and minimise impacts to
company has their own process for calculating their premiums. Criteria would generally
include historical flood information, claims history and building type.
residents believe that the flood overlay could have been avoided if City of
Greater Geelong had provided better maintenance to the existing drainage
system. Has Council properly kept drainage infrastructure in-line with Lara’s
population boom over the last two decades?
As part of the
flood study, we have created an inspection and maintenance program for our
critical drainage assets in Lara. We have also
identified priority capital works for drainage infrastructure in the region.
systems are generally designed to accommodate stormwater runoff from a 20% AEP
(1 in 5 year) event. It is not feasible for all stormwater to be collected in
underground drainage systems as the drains required would have to be enormous
and cost prohibitive. In a 1% AEP (1
in 100 year) event, the piped system quickly fills, and the additional runoff
flows along the natural drainage paths towards a larger waterway across
properties, roads and reserves.
information on the project is is available here