Frequently asked questions

The Newstead Flood Study is being delivered to provide detailed flood intelligence for the area so that we can develop best practice flood preparedness and response, and planning protections.

We are keen to hear your knowledge and recollections and we are after as much detail as possible.

We encourage you to share any photos, recordings or materials that will help us understand the locations, dates, times and depths of previous flood events.

If you are sharing photos please let us know when and where photos were taken, and use landmarks, items or building measurements to describe depths.

For example:

  • "The water was up to the bonnet of my car in the driveway at 888 Overflow Road on Monday 10am in October 2000."
  • "The water was at the top of the culvert on Flooded Road on Thursday at 4pm in January 2011."

We will also ask for your contact details in case we need to investigate further.

Newstead has a history of flooding with events in 2000, 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2022.

An earthen levee provides the Newstead township a level of protection against flooding. However:

  • the characteristics of the levee are unknown
  • there is no formal management arrangement
  • there no automated local warning systems for the complex flood scenarios that occur.

As a result, we are undertaking a comprehensive assessment of flood risks within the Newstead catchment area (marked in the map below).

We do this work to better understand the potential impacts of flooding, identify areas at risk, and develop best practice strategies to manage and mitigate these risks.

The Newstead Flood Study results will also inform the development of any necessary flood-related planning tools, that may include a planning scheme amendment.

If specific properties are identified as likely to be affected by flooding in the future, those properties may be impacted by new flood-related planning controls.

Any proposed flood-related planning controls, including planning scheme amendments, will guide current and future property owners and developers to consider flood risk while developing properties, which may include the need for planning permits.

The study is being conducted by expert consultants Water Technology, who will work closely with Council, the North Central Catchment Management Authority, the project steering group and the community.

In addition a Project Steering Committee brings a broad range of stakeholders, knowledge and experts into the project.

These include the funding partners as well as representatives from North Central Catchment Management Authority, Bureau of Meteorology, Coliban Water, Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), Department of Transport and Planning, Dja Dja Wurrung, Goulburn Murray Water, Victoria Police, Victorian State Emergency Service, Councillors and community representatives.

The community will also be invited to provide input during the project.

The Newstead Flood Study is a long-term project, and consists of a number of stages.

Stage 1 – Undertake preliminary assessment of frequency and severity of flood events in Newstead, as well as impacts of climate change.

Stage 2 – Investigate all possible options to manage flooding in Newstead.

Stage 3 – Synthesize data and develop draft Newstead Flood Study.

Stage 4 – Use results of draft Newstead Flood Study to inform development of flood protection and preparedness activities.

Consultants Water Technology have started work and are targeting completion of the study by June 2025.

Stage 1:

  • Collection and review of historical data and collection of community knowledge
  • Surveyors in the area collecting ground and floor levels.

Stage 2

  • All data is fed in to hydrologic and hydraulic computer modelling
  • The modelling goes through testing and calibration to improve accuracy and ensure it is representative of actual events
  • Draft modelling is produced to reflect the movement of water over the catchment in different scenarios depending on the existing state of the landscape and where, how much and how quickly rain occurs
  • The draft modelling also includes projections for climate change, or the 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood. The AEP means there is a 1% chance of a flood occurring, or being exceeded, in any one year. It is the Victorian Government standard to regulate and protect new developments through state planning and building systems.

This process is expected to run for six months due to the complexity of flooding from multiple sources that must be considered for Newstead.

Stage 3

  • When the draft modelling is confirmed, damage assessments for individual locations are run and mapped
  • Risk management options are then assessed with consideration of their effects and feasibility.

Recommendations are made in a final report in mid 2025.

We will consult in three stages and offer a number of methods for the community to get involved.

  • Stage 1 data review – we will introduce the project, share historical data and take input from the community. Hardcopy and online data maps will be available to help discussion and knowledge reporting. Click here for more detail on this drop-in session.
  • Stage 2 draft mapping and potential protection options - we'll share the study results and potential response options (subject to feasibility). Draft hardcopy and online maps will be available to prompt discussion and input. This stage is currently planned for late 2024.
  • Stage 2 project completion - we will present and discuss the final results with the community. This stage is currently planned for May 2025.

Deliverables for the flood study include:

  • Calibrated hydrologic and hydraulic computer models which will provide detailed flood information, including flood map extents, depths, heights and velocities for a range of flood events of different sizes and Annual Exceedance Probabilities (AEP). The models are to factor likely climate change aspects.
  • Flood intelligence to be incorporated into the Municipal Flood Emergency Plan including roads impacted and buildings that may experience above-floor flooding.
  • Flood mapping to be incorporated into the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme updating the flood related planning controls.
  • Recommendations regarding flood mitigation options including an understanding of the current level of protection offered by the Newstead Township Levee and identification of works to upgrade this infrastructure.
  • A comprehensive final report that outlines the methodology, findings, and recommendations.
  • Update to flood intelligence products including pre-prepared maps, impacted buildings and impacted transport routes

No, works on the flood gate are independent of the study.

Plans to upgrade the existing flood gate have commenced with a request for tender process in progress.

The Victorian Government and the Australian Government’s Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) are funding the flood study.

Council are project managing the flood study with technical support from North Central Catchment Management Authority.

A detailed design phase to follow the study is funded by Council and the Australian Government’s Disaster Ready Fund.

Funding for construction work is not yet available. Council plans to advocate for this through State and Federal grants with potential Council contribution.