I have always adopted a cautious approach in relation to flood risk.
For more than a decade, we have had a planning policy dictating that any new development should be above the 1 in 100 chance per year flood mark. Tragically, many of the houses affected by the current flooding event are located in places developed before the standard was introduced.
I have previously knocked back rezoning applications at Penrith Lakes, Emu Plains, Windsor and Richmond due to flood concerns.
I’ve also taken a cautious approach to land-use planning in the future Aerotropolis to ensure that we’re not proposing development on flood-prone land.
When we came to Government, there was no comprehensive flood strategy for the Hawkesbury-Nepean valley. Our Government spent several years developing a detailed flood strategy that was released in 2017. As part of the strategy, Infrastructure NSW has undertaken significant flood evacuation modelling.
Last year I paused the approval of future residential rezoning in the north west until Infrastructure NSW has completed the full business case to support the flood evacuation model.