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NSW floodplain reforms an important step: IAG

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IAG has welcomed NSW Government reforms to land use planning for flood-prone areas, which the insurer says will help to protect lives, property and infrastructure.

The NSW Flood Prone Land Package will result in improved community resilience, IAG says, which has flow on affects to the affordability of insurance.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes launched the package last month, saying floods in March which devastated parts of NSW were a reminder to communities to be sufficiently prepared in the event of extreme flooding.

IAG EM Natural Perils Mark Leplastrier says planning, development controls and building standards are the most effective ways to reduce the impacts of flooding and other natural disasters.

“Land use planning is one of the most important things we need to get right to protect households and communities from the devastating impacts of severe floods,” Mr Leplastrier said.

“These reforms are an important step in greater alignment of land use planning with the flood risk of a particular area and will help ensure we’re doing everything we can to not put people in harm’s way.”

The new rules give councils more flexibility, including better management of flood risk above the 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP). Councils will also need to consider flood evacuation routes and the impacts of climate change as part of development planning.

IAG says it has long advocated that land use planning needs to move away from measuring flood risk using the traditional 1% AEP standard (a 1-in-100-year flood event) mandated under the previous planning guidelines. It recommends assessments which consider risks across a full range of possible severe flood events.