NSW has released new draft guidelines to help communities and councils plan for natural hazards such as bushfires, drought and floods for public feedback.

In releasing the draft Strategic Guide to Planning for Natural Hazards in NSW, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says the recent flooding which devastated parts of the state emphasised the need to plan strategically for natural hazards.

“Our state is the best place to live in Australia but with its natural beauty comes challenges,” Stokes says.

“In the last few years we’ve experienced some of the worst drought, bushfires and flooding on record so it’s important we continually learn and adapt how we plan for these hazards."

“This draft guide supports the findings of the Bushfire Royal Commission that we need to better address legacy risk in our communities by making sure that strategic land use planning builds resilience to known hazards," he says.

The draft document comprises eight guiding principles:

  • Consider natural hazard risk early
  • Protect vulnerable people and assets
  • Adopt an all-hazards approach
  • Involve the community in conversations about risk
  • Plan for emergency response and evacuation
  • Be information driven· Plan to rebuild the future, not the present
  • Understand the relationship between natural processes and natural hazards

Image: istock