Lower Shoalhaven River floodplain flood refuge mounds

Our Flood Refuge Mounds Program is helping farmers prepare for and reduce the impact of future flooding events in the Lower Shoalhaven River floodplain area.

Flood refuge mounds can provide a vital temporary refuge for livestock. They require a Development Application (DA) with Shoalhaven City Council to be built.

We are offering eligible primary producers a free professional consultation on modelling and design works for the impact of potential locations for flood refuge mounds on their property and possible collaborative locations with neighbouring properties.

The designs will be made available to applicants and Shoalhaven City Council. The results will be included in the Shoalhaven City Council Floodplain Risk Management Study, and if suitable, Plan for the Lower Shoalhaven River Floodplain. These designs may be used for future Development Applications with Shoalhaven City Council for the approval of refuge mound construction.

The program is being delivered in collaboration with Shoalhaven City Council and industry groups.

What is on offer?

A free professional design and mapping of potential flood refuge mounds on your property to support your Development Application.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible you need to:

  • have a property within the Lower Shoalhaven River floodplain (see program area mapmap of flood mound refuge around the south coast)
  • be the landowner or have proof of landowner consent from the landowner to participate in the program
  • be a primary producer with a minimum of 70 adult livestock on the holding
  • have the space and willingness to construct a refuge mound or work with adjacent properties to construct one
  • have experienced significant economic loss due to the 2022 flooding and extreme wet weather conditions. This should be demonstrated by a variety of means such as increased vet bills, loss of milk production, loss of stock as evidenced through NLIS etc.
  • agree to have a design contractor (contracted/determined by LLS) conduct minimum of one (1) site visit by 31 May 2024.
  • have no debt with Local Land Services outside of Local Land Services payment terms.

Applications can include multiple sites within the Lower Shoalhaven River Floodplain but only one mound per property. Each site will be assessed separately. Applicants are encouraged to work with their neighbours where possible.

Costs and deliverables

There are no project costs to eligible primary producers, but applicants must work with LLS and the contractor to complete design works. This includes allowing access for contractors within a suitable timeframe. LLS will manage supplier contracts and payment of invoices associated with the design and mapping works.

The designs will be made available to applicants and Shoalhaven City Council. The results will be included in the Shoalhaven City Council Floodplain Risk Management Study, and if suitable, Plan for the Lower Shoalhaven River floodplain. These designs may be used for future Development Applications with Shoalhaven City Council for the approval of refuge mound construction.

Design modelling conducted as part of this project does not guarantee acceptance of the design by Council or the approval of a development application. All development applications must go through the usual process outlined by Shoalhaven City Council.

The following costs are not covered by the program:

  • costs associated with the Development Application (DA) process through Council.
  • on ground construction of the refuge mounds.
  • any costs not directly related to the project or design activities.
  • costs that have been incurred and paid for through another grants program.
  • design activities that have occurred prior to this program.

Program funding

The total program funding available for the Refuge Mounds on the Shoalhaven River floodplain project is $85,000 GST exclusive, with a maximum up to $10,000 per eligible property.

Project costs will be paid directly to contractors undertaking design works via invoice.

How to apply

Applications are now CLOSED.

Key dates

Applications open on 12 February 2024

Applications close on 31 March 2024

Assessment process 1 April to 5 April 2024

Access agreements negotiated with successful applicants: Contracting work to be negotiated once an Applicant has signed and returned their Access Agreement.

Project completion: Projects must commence within 2 months of the commencement date of an Access Agreement.  All activities to be completed by 31 May 2024

In extenuating circumstances, applications submitted after the deadline may be accepted at the sole discretion of South East Local Land Services.

Assessment criteria

You must address all assessment criteria for each site in your application. We will assess each site based on the weighting given to each criterion.

  1. Impact on production - severity and scale of floods and wet weather events on primary production (40% weighting)
  2. Project risk - environmental assessment and applicant willingness to fund and deliver works on ground once design is in place (20% weighting).
  3. Strategic alignment - locations and grouping for delivery – including mapped flood hazard and distance from higher ground (40% weighting)

If you are successful

Successful applicants will be notified in writing by letter and/or email and will be required to:

  • enter into an Access Agreement with LLS.
  • help facilitate modelling and design activities by South Coast Local Land Services and Contractors
  • participate in a program evaluation or audit to determine the outcomes and success of the project.
  • not make any financial contributions to contractors for this project or commence with a development application until the mapping and design stages are complete.

More information

For detailed program guidelines and more information contact:

Cas Weiske
Senior Agricultural Advisor – South Coast
Local Land Services
M 0475 407 996

Frequently Asked Questions

How much funding is available?

Total amount of funding available for this program is $85,000 with a maximum up to $10,000 per eligible property.

How will I receive funding?

No funding will be paid to successful applicants. Local Land Services will engage a contractor to do the survey and design works. All payments will be made directly to the consultant.

When will the design works begin and who will do it?

Local Land Services has contracted a local service provider to complete all survey and design works. The work will be undertaken between March and June 2024 with actual dates confirmed with successful applicants closer to the time. A Local Land Services Officer will accompany the consultant to the property for the initial meeting.

How will I know if I am successful?

After the assessment process, all applicants will be notified of the outcome by Local Land Services in writing by letter and/or e-mail.

Will all applicants be funded?

No. Only those that meet the assessment criteria will be considered. Applications will be ranked to ensure those most in need will be prioritised should total value of applications exceed available funding.

Will construction of the flood mounds be funded?

No. This project is only about planning and design to streamline flood impact investigations and assist landowners to navigate the development application process. Landowners who participate in the project will be expected to self-manage and fund the construction of a flood mound.

If I am successful with my application, can I build a flood mound straight away?

Successful applicants will still have to lodge a Development Application with Shoalhaven City Council. A Development Application could only be submitted following the completion of the refuge mound design and flood investigations as part of the Lower Shoalhaven River Floodplain Risk Management Study.

Can I build on the flood mound?

The only infrastructure that can be placed on the flood mound is fencing, and for clean water and feed during times of flood

This program is funded by the $13 million Early Needs Recovery Program and is part of the $150 million Primary Industry Support Package which is co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments.  It is designed to assist primary producers in the most flood-impacted regions and industries of NSW in their recovery from the 2022 NSW severe weather storms and flooding events.

Related information