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Byron Shire
July 15, 2024

Have your say on flood planning in Byron Shire

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In 2022, Mullumbimby, like the entire north coast, was hit by the biggest flood in living memory. Photo Mullum Residents Association social media page

A planning instrument that guides development in floodplains is open for public comment, yet does not include the 2022 flood levels.

Byron Shire Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) includes Chapter 2 for land affected by flood, with a new version of this chapter on exhibition until July 14. 

A DCP sits beneath the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and expands on its development standards and controls.

Council staff say that some of the changes proposed would implement, ‘where possible, relevant actions identified in the North Byron Floodplain Risk Management Study’.

That study was adopted in 2020, before the devastating 2022 floods.

The reason for the exhibition, say Council staff, is that, ‘Since 2021, the NSW government has introduced a number of policy and legislative changes for assessing flood risk and considering flood-related constraints in land use planning’.  

Greens Cr Duncan Dey, who is also a flood engineer, is encouraging the public to make their voice heard over the DCP chapter. 

Computer modelling

He told The Echo that, ‘Council could adopt an approach whereby development adheres to what computer modelling says, but also considered any big flood that occurred after the computer model was adopted. 

‘Council staff support this approach. The hurdle in doing this is councillor support’.

‘Staff have said in an email to a councillor that they could produce flood levels based on public information gathered from the 2022 event. All that is needed is a modest $10,000 budget for computer modelling. This would iron out the community-supplied level information’.

‘The public can get these changes over the line, through the number of submissions’, he said.

‘The public can make a submission supporting this approach by finding Council’s Your Say website page and saying they support the Floodplain Committee’s position, which is set out in the box under section 2.1.8 of the exhibited draft chapter’.

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