Byron Shire is located in a region of high annual rainfall with a pronounced wet season from December to April, but sometimes as late as June or July. During this season, the region is susceptible to the effects of cyclonic activity to the north which can bring torrential rain to the area.

Floods of any size can occur at virtually any time, particularly during the summer wet season. Flooding is a natural phenomenon with random characteristics and can cause damage to property, and affect the lives, livelihoods and life-styles of residents.

Floodplain management aims to reduce the impact of floods on individuals and the community as a whole. This requires an integrated approach which takes into account the risk and consequences of flooding as well as the social and environmental issues relating to flooding and flood mitigation/management.

Byron Shire has four major floodplains:

Section 4 of The Byron Shire's annual State of the Environment (SoE) Report discusses floodplain management in terms of the condition of floodplains, the pressures they face and the responses that are being taken to alleviate these pressures.


  1. Flood study’s only apply to areas within the designated "Hydraulic Model Boundary". They apply to river flooding only and do not apply to local stormwater catchment flooding.
  2. The approximate extent of land liable to flooding has been based on survey data available at the time of preparation. These include but are not limited to survey based on aerial photography and aerial laser scanning. Conditions may have changed since that time. The extent of flooding for individual properties can only be determined by a licensed surveyor.
  3. Studies and associated maps have been prepared using the best available data and computer modelling and mapping techniques. However, the accuracy of the study and maps is not absolute and reflects only the accuracy of the data and the techniques used. Byron Shire Council does not warrant that this study and associated maps are definitive nor free from error and do not accept liability for any loss caused or arising from reliance upon information provided herein. Byron Shire Council does not warrant that individual properties not shown on these maps as inundated, are not flood liable.
  4. Local increases in flood levels, depths and/or velocities from local factors such as drain blockages and obstructions to overland flow path such as fences, buildings and cars may change the results presented.
  5. The base of the maps associated with the study is cadastre only and does not strictly represent the location, extent or even existence of actual roads.


 Emergency management

The State Emergency Service is the lead agency for emergency management during flood events, for more information visit.

Call the Byron Shire Council Works Depot on 02 6685 9300; to:

  • Find out about road closures during a flood event
  • Report possible risks to the public
  • Report any damage. .

Road closures

During flood events Council monitors the Shire roads and updates road closures at MyRoadInfo. You can also find road closure information here on nearby regions.

Flood Information Sheet

Download our Flood Information Sheet [link]

The flood info sheet contains the following:

  • Preparing a home emergency kit for floods and storms
  • Your home emergency plan
  • What to do now
  • When there is a flood warning
  • If you need to evacuate
  • After the flood has arrived
  • How the SES can help you
  • How your Council helps.

The NSW SES FloodSafe website is also great resource for before, during and after flood events - www.floodsafe.com.au

North Byron Shire Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan

The floods in 2017 had a devastating impact on parts of the Byron Shire and Council is hoping people will take the time to tell their stories to inform the new North Byron Shire Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan.

The aim of the Flood Risk Management Study and Plan is to give Council solid information to allow for the development of strategies and options to better manage the risk of floods in the future.

The focus will be on the Brunswick River, Marshalls Creek and Simpsons Creek catchments and includes Mullumbimby, Billinudgel, Ocean Shores, New Brighton and South Golden Beach.

The information that we gather as part of this study will help Council try to manage future flood events and minimise the risk to residents and their properties.

For more information contact James Flockton on 02 6626 7000.

Flood Risk Management

It is Council’s responsibility to manage flood risk in accordance with the  NSW Floodplain Development Manual 2005, in consultation with the Office of Environment and Heritage. 

The objectives of the Government’s Flood Policy are to:

  • reduce the impact of flooding and flood liability on individual owners and occupiers
  • reduce private and public losses resulting from floods.

Council uses three tools to manage development in the floodplain:

  1. The Local Environment Plan
  2. Development Control Plans
  3. Floodplain Management Plans.

The table below describes the floodplain risk management process.

  1. Flood Study: Determines the nature and extent of the flood problem and flood risks.
  2. Floodplain Risk Management Study: Evaluates management options for the floodplain in respect to both existing and proposed development.
  3. Floodplain Risk Management Plan: Involves formal adoption by Council of a plan of management for a floodplain.
  4. Implementation of the Plan: Construction of flood mitigation works to protect existing development. Use of Development Control Plans and Local Environmental Plans to ensure new development is compatible with the flood hazard.

Call Council Development Engineers on 02 6626 7000 for further information on flood levels for developments and developing on flood prone land.

Flood warning system

Council has a flood warning system which provides the Bureau of Meteorology, SES and Council with rainfall and creek level data 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Get more information about rainfall at the Bureau of Meteorology website or about climate and past weather.

Acid sulphate soils

Acid sulphate soils are widespread along the margins of the NSW coast in estuarine floodplains and coastal lowlands including urban areas, farmland, mangrove tidal flats, salt marshes and tea-tree swamps. These soils include those that are producing acid (actual acid sulphate soils) and those that could become acid producing (potential acid sulphate soils).

More information on Acid Sulphate Soils can be found at Office of Environment and Heritage - Acid sulphate soils or Council's LEP and DCP.

Call Council’s Flood and Drainage Engineer on 02 6626 7000 or email council@byron.nsw.gov.au for information regarding Flood Risk Management.

Climate Change

Council is considering the effects of Climate Change in all current and future flood risk management projects. For further information on Council's Climate Change Policy.

Other information can be found at Adapting to sea level rise - Department of Planning NSW and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.