NSW estuaries and their coastal floodplains have been severely damaged by major floods. Already degraded areas generally have the least resilience to recover from these impacts.
The aims of the program are to:
- Assess the severity of flood impacts on estuarine and floodplain assets
- Identify priority areas for asset protection and increased resilience
- Implement actions that will provide increased resilience for estuarine and floodplain assets from flooding events
Record-breaking NSW Severe Weather and Flooding from 22 February 2022 onwards had a catastrophic impact on communities across parts of NSW. There was extensive damage to residential properties, public infrastructure, agriculture, businesses, and the environment. Declarations under AGRN 1012 were made for all NSW coastal LGAs. Eight LGAs were identified as highly impacted: Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Richmond River County Council and Clarence Valley.
Reports and preliminary assessments indicate that there has been significant river and estuarine erosion, bank collapse, land slippages and diversion of flows through newly formed channels. These impacts are not only visually apparent for the local community but are also putting at risk surrounding prime agricultural lands, cultural sites, estuarine habitats, environmental assets, fences, livestock access, public access to recreation areas, access roads and infrastructure. Failure to implement repairs and stabilisation could not only exacerbate impacts from the 2022 floods but be magnified by future events.
DPI Fisheries Program
DPI Fisheries have developed an Action Plan to Protect Estuarine and Coastal Floodplain Assets and Values. The program has been approved by the National Emergency Management Authority, spans 2 years and delivers across five action areas:
- Cultural heritage protection
- Riverbank resilience
- Roads and waterway crossing management
- Key habitat and threatened species resilience
- Council managed estuarine infrastructure
These programs are supported by Program Delivery and Administration and Benefits Realisation covering monitoring and reporting.