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Government policy

The Tweed Valley has a long history of flooding and will continue to flood. Tweed Shire Council has developed a flood planning framework consisting of four primary documents.

These integrated documents are guided by the NSW government’s Floodplain Development Manual.

The documents establish flood maps, heights and requirements for the development and management of flood prone land. They note the considerable number of people and properties on flood-prone land, the age of the community, prevalence of tourists and limited opportunities to evacuate during floods.

In response, the flood-planning framework requires critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, be located above flood prone land. The flood-planning framework also limits the intensity of sensitive development types on flood prone land to ensure appropriate flood emergency responses are implemented. This is primarily expressed through land use zonings, development standards and development control plan requirements.

The map below shows the Cudgen Connection site in relation to Probable Maximum Flood mapping.

Interactive Map

Critical services

The Cudgen Connection proposal delivers a proposed private hospital on flood-free land. This outcome mirrors the criteria and methodology employed by NSW Health Infrastructure in the site selection process for the adjoining Tweed Valley Hospital. TVH Site Selection Report July 2018 Highlights.

These alternate sites in Tweed Heads and Kingscliff/ Chinderah cannot feasibly be pursued as options as all are identified as flood prone under Tweed Shire Council’s flood mapping. Pursuing these alternate sites is contrary to council policy, places vulnerable people at risk and does not reflect sound floodplain management.

The delivery of Cudgen Connection on oursite at 741 Cudgen Road, Cudgen, will improve services available during Tweed Coast floods by expanding the capacity and capabilities of the existing evacuation centre at Kingscliff TAFE.

Put simply, due to the flooding issues within the precinct, there are simply no suitable sites to locate Cudgen Connection. Continuing to make the mistakes of the past is unacceptable.

  • Tweed LEP – Clause 5.21 Flood Planning

(1)  The objectives of this clause are as follows—

(a)  to minimise the flood risk to life and property associated with the use of land,

(d)  to enable the safe occupation and efficient evacuation of people in the event of a flood.

(2)  Development consent must not be granted to development on land the consent authority considers to be within the flood planning area unless the consent authority is satisfied the development—

(a)  is compatible with the flood function and behaviour on the land, and

(c)  will not adversely affect the safe occupation and efficient evacuation of people or exceed the capacity of existing evacuation routes for the surrounding area in the event of a flood, and

(d)  incorporates appropriate measures to manage risk to life in the event of a flood

(3)  In deciding whether to grant development consent on land to which this clause applies, the consent authority must consider the following matters—

(c)  whether the development incorporates measures to minimise the risk to life and ensure the safe evacuation of people in the event of a flood


  • Section A3 – Flood Liable Land of the Tweed Development Control Plan 2008

A3.2.6 Emergency Response Provisions

(a) Essential Community Facilities and Critical Services

Critical infrastructure (such as hospitals) and emergency response facilities in all localities shall comply with the following development controls.

  • All new critical infrastructure and facilities to be located above PMF level, unless exceptional circumstances can be justified, such as servicing existing flood prone communities where no practical alternative exists. In such cases, and where the development is a habitable land use, adequate PMF refuge must be provided.