Southern Downs Planning Scheme – Changes to Flood Hazard Overlay

Southern Downs Regional Council is proposing to make a range of amendments to the Southern Downs Planning Scheme and is welcoming public submissions as part of the community consultation process.

The Southern Downs Planning Scheme was adopted in 2012. A major review of the scheme commenced in 2015 and, following a State interest review of the proposed amendments which commenced in March 2016, Council has recently been advised by the Deputy Premier that public consultation of the proposed amendments can now be undertaken.

One of the proposed amendments involves updating the Flood hazard overlay.

Southern Downs Portfolio Councillor for Planning and Property, Neil Meiklejohn explained that the flood hazard overly includes those areas of the Southern Downs region that are located within the area that would be inundated in a flood event with a one percent Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP).

“The one percent Annual Exceedance Probability is a flood event that may occur, on average, once every 100 years; however it may occur more frequently. A flood of this size or larger has a one percent chance of occurring in any year.

“The existing overlay uses mapping provided by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s (QRA) for a large part of the Region. The QRA mapping was broadscale mapping based on historical flood records, where available, vegetation, soils mapping and satellite imagery.

“However we know this mapping to be inaccurate in some areas of the region, which is why a number of flood studies have been undertaken since 2012, and these give us a much more accurate picture,” he said.

The flood studies include:

  • The Leyburn Flood Risk Management Study;
  • The Stanthorpe Flood Risk Management Study;
  • The Applethorpe Flood Study;
  • The Glengallan Creek Flood Study; and
  • The Rosenthal Creek Flood Study.

“In many areas, these flood studies show a significant reduction in the amount of land subject to the one percent AEP when compared with the QRA mapping,” Cr Meiklejohn said.

“Since September 2014, Council has implemented the five flood studies through a Temporary Local Planning Instrument. However these instruments don’t formally amend the planning scheme.

“So the proposed amendment will formalise the new flood hazard overlay within the Southern Downs Planning Scheme, and then the Temporary Local Planning Instruments will no longer be required and can be repealed,” he explained.

“Council has developed a fact sheet specifically about this proposed change which outlines details about the flood hazard overlay, what is being amended and how to make a submission.

“The consultation period is open until March 31, so I would encourage people to consider the draft plan and the supporting documentation and to make a submission to Council if they’re passionate about something in the proposals,” he said.

The public consultation period is open until 31 March 2017. There are various ways in which the public and potentially affected stakeholders can be part of the consultation process.

During the consultation period, the Draft Amended Planning Scheme, planning scheme maps and a range of fact sheets will be available at the Council’s Warwick and Stanthorpe Community Contact Centres, and on Council’s website.

Additionally, members of the public are welcome to make appointments with Council’s Planning Department to discuss the proposed amendments.

For further information about the proposed amendments, or to arrange a meeting to discuss the amendments, please contact Council on 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372).

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