Flood overlay mapping changes – City Plan minor and administrative amendment package O

Brisbane is a great place to live, work and relax. To ensure our friendly and liveable city continues to thrive and Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) remains effective and up-to-date, Brisbane City Council adopted changes to some of its citywide provisions, including the Flood overlay maps (Minor and administrative amendment package O). These changes took effect on 1 September 2023.

If you are building or renovating, you may need to refer to City Plan and associated planning requirements in the Flood overlay code.

What flood mapping changes have been made to City Plan?

As a result of the Bulimba Creek Flood Study, Council has updated the Flood overlay maps in City Plan for Creek/waterway flood planning areas. Through Council’s Flood Action Plan (January 2011) and in response to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry, Council committed to completing new creek flood studies across Brisbane to provide the most up-to-date flood information for Brisbane residents. 

Through the February 2022 Brisbane Flood Review and Rebuild & Recover: Flood Resilience Action Plan (action 3.5), Council is committed to using new data on the 2022 weather event to update the existing flood studies knowledge base.

The Flood study programs provide reliable up-to-date information regarding flood risks that will help protect the community and support flood-resilient development.

Do the changes mean I have to lodge a development application?

City Plan is a technical document used by Council to assess new development. Development applications may be required for new development depending on:

  • type of development proposed
  • zoning of the property
  • neighbourhood plan provisions that apply to the property
  • overlays that apply to the property.

Changes to the Flood overlay mapping may affect what types of development on your property require a development application.

For information on whether a development application is required and the applicable assessment criteria, see how to use City Plan.

How to view the Flood overlay mapping changes

Council is writing to properties where a change in Flood overlay mapping has been identified. If you did not receive a letter but believe your property may be affected, you can still view the changes to the Flood overlay mapping.

Flood overlay mapping updates for Creek/waterway flood planning areas in the Bulimba creek catchment are now available.

For information on how the Flood overlay mapping changes relate to your property:

  • view the previous and current versions of the Flood overlay mapping via the interactive map. Only properties in the catchment area are searchable.
  • view versions of the Flood overlay mapping in City Plan online and create downloadable maps for comparison using the factsheet on how to compare flood maps (Word – 880kb).
  • review the Flood overlay table of assessment and Flood overlay code to see if changes to the Flood overlay mapping on your property have affected how these are applied.

To request previous and current flood overlay maps and details of Flood Planning Area (FPA) changes, you can also contact Council.

Flood planning area (FPA)

The Flood overlay code guides the future development of land at risk of flooding within defined flood planning areas (FPA) shown on the Flood overlay map. 

Council has five FPAs for Brisbane River and Creek/waterway flooding to guide future building and development in flood-prone areas. There is one FPA for local overland flow flooding. Storm tide flooding is mapped separately.

Regulations tailored to each FPA have not changed as part of this amendment. The Flood overlay code has not changed but it may be applied differently to a property where the FPA has changed.

Planning controls are higher in areas when flood susceptibility is more frequent, and/or to a higher depth and/or in fast flowing water. For example, FPA1 is subject to the highest development assessment requirements for any future development within that area.

The FPA regulations only apply to new developments (including extensions, rebuilds and expansions), and not existing buildings.

If you are planning to renovate or build, Council recommends you seek a professional assessment of all flood risks specific to your property.

Table containing descriptions of flood planning areas and how these are applied to new developments.
Flood planning areaDescriptionWhat does the code mean for development?
1FPA1 Flooding is very likely and/or there may be very deep and/or very fast-moving water.Any new development would be subject to the highest development assessment requirements. This area is generally best suited to environmental and recreation uses. 
2FPA2 Flooding is likely and there may be deep and/or fast-moving water.New development may be subject to additional development requirements to address flood impacts - such as being high-set with specialised stronger building design.
3FPA3 Flooding is likely and there may be deep and/or moderate-fast moving water. New development may be built in this area but may need modifications such as houses being built on stumps. 
4FPA4 Flooding is likely and there may be shallow and/or slow-moving water.New development that can mitigate flood impacts with slight building modifications may be allowed to be built in this area - such as meeting minimum floor heights.
5FPA5 There is no recent history of flooding but there is potential for flooding. No flood overlay code requirements apply to houses. New development such as essential community services like hospitals may be built in this area - by meeting minimum floor heights.
Local overland flowWater may rise quickly and move with speed but will recede quicklyMinimum standards for floor heights apply to houses. Other development will be designed to not increase flooding impacts on neighbouring properties. 

For more information on Flood Planning Areas, read the Flood planning scheme policy in City Plan.

Feasible Alternative Assessment Report (FAAR)

Council completed the Feasible Alternatives Assessment Report (FAAR) in accordance with the Planning Act 2016 and the Minister’s Guidelines and Rules. The FAAR is an opportunity for Council to document the options considered in the risk assessment process required under the State Planning Policy.

To discuss Council’s approach please contact Council.

More information

For more information about Flood planning or changes in the Minor and administrative amendment – package O, read the Adopted City Plan amendments, or phone Council on 07 3403 8888.


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