Tallow Creek floodplain

Tallow Creek is situated on the southern outskirts of Byron Bay. The Tallow Creek catchment stretches from the escarpment to the West to the Pacific Ocean on the east, and includes the suburb of Suffolk Park, and the estates of Byron Hills and Baywood Chase.

The catchment covers approximately 450 hectares and consists of a steep to undulating upper catchment which drains via three creeks (North, Middle and South Tallow Creek). The lower catchment is characteristic of ancient dune systems, with drainage lines running parallel to the coastline. The three creeks of the Tallow catchment drain to Tallow Lake, which drains to the ocean at Tallow Beach.

A significant feature of the lower Tallow Creek catchment is the Arakwal National Park managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which includes the Tallow Creek mouth. The Tallow Creek mouth intermittently opens as Tallow Lake is a Intermittently Closed or Open Lake or Lagoon (ICOLL). Opening of the mouth generally occurs by natural means, however, mechanical intervention has occurred in the past – in emergency situations.

Suffolk Park has a fairly heavily developed urban catchment and is characterised as a flash flood catchment with minimal flood warning times.

As part of Council’s LEP 2014 process, the Climate Change Policy was updated with new current practice modelling parameters. The Tallow Creek Revised Flood Mapping document below reflects the results and the new mapping for Tallow Creek under LEP 2014.

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