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Victoria's regional flood-related amendments assistance program will help councils translate flood studies into streamlined planning scheme amendments for enhanced community resilience. This program also offers funding and in-house assistance to councils to help accelerate the preparation and progression of flood-related planning scheme amendments.

Over the spring of 2022, flooding occurred in 46 of Victoria’s 79 municipalities, including 39 of 48 rural and regional municipalities. The event highlighted that many completed flood studies have not been introduced into planning schemes. Planning scheme flood controls prohibit or restrict land use and development in flood-prone areas and improve landholder and decision maker awareness of, and mitigation of, the risks of flood-prone land.

Assistance for regional councils

The regional flood-related amendments assistance program provides councils with strategic planning support and resources to help accelerate their flood-related planning scheme amendments, including:

  • funding to assist with planning scheme amendment costs incurred by the council. This may include, but is not limited to, drafting amendment documents, community consultation/exhibition costs, report preparation, review of submissions, panel submission preparation and representation costs and external procurement.
  • funding towards the cost of a planning panel or Flood-related Amendment Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) hearing.
  • DTP in-house assistance with draft amendment preparation.

Eligibility criteria

  • The council is one of Victoria’s 48 rural and regional councils.
  • The council has adopted or endorsed the relevant flood study.
  • The council can demonstrate a need for assistance to implement a completed flood study into its planning scheme.
  • The council can provide evidence of a council resolution or endorsement by a council delegate to progress the planning scheme amendment.

Program duration

Applications for funding will be open until 30 June 2025, subject to the availability of funds.

Regional councils can make multiple applications

There is no limit to the number of requests that a council can make. A council may make multiple applications for assistance and may apply at different stages of the amendment process. A council may also apply for a combination of DTP in-house assistance and funding.

Funding limit

There is no set limit to the amount of funding that a council can request; however, it is important that councils demonstrate justification and provide evidence of costs to support the requested amount. The program has a capped fund available to regional and rural councils across Victoria.

Therefore, while councils are encouraged to apply for funding based on their needs, allocations may be adjusted to ensure a fair and effective distribution of the available funds.

Requests for DTP in-house assistance will be dependent on the project team’s resourcing and project timeframes.

Apply for support

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Funding commitment for the flood-related amendments assistance program

On 30 May 2023, the Minister for Water and the Minister for Planning jointly announced funding of $22.2 million for the implementation of flood studies.

This includes an allocation to The Department of Transport and Planning of $4.45 million to support rural and regional councils to implement existing flood studies into planning schemes via planning scheme amendments.

Role of the flood-related amendments Standing Advisory Committee (SAC)

The flood-related amendments Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) will facilitate a streamlined amendment pathway for planning scheme amendments. Under a streamlined pathway, a council’s draft planning scheme amendment can be referred to the SAC which will consider the substance of the amendment and any unresolved submissions before making its recommendation to the Minister and council.

Page last updated: 25/01/24