Riverbank Rehabilitation Project

Local Land Services is currently delivering the $18.46 million Riverbank Rehabilitation Project on behalf of the NSW and Australian Governments in response to the NSW Storm and High Rainfall (AGRN 960 and AGRN 954) events of February and March 2021. The Riverbank Rehabilitation Project includes 2 sub-project streams:

  • targeted riverbank rehabilitation on-ground works
  • streamlined riverbank rehabilitation approvals.

How will the Riverbank Rehabilitation Project help flood affected regions?

The NSW storm and high rainfall events of February and March 2021 caused significant damage to businesses, infrastructure, agricultural enterprises and the natural environment, with extreme erosion of impacted waterways.

The Riverbank Rehabilitation Project will undertake targeted works to address erosion and other riverbank flood damage on the highest priority areas of the affected waterways.

The project is focusing on 7 priority impacted waterways which are the Hawkesbury River, Manning River (Taree), Nambucca River, Hastings River (Port Macquarie), Macleay River (Kempsey), Clarence River (Grafton), Richmond River (Ballina) and their major tributaries.

What on-ground works will be undertaken through the Riverbank Rehabilitation Project?

The targeted riverbank rehabilitation on-ground works sub-project stream is identifying, prioritising and undertaking riverbank rehabilitation works to protect and enhance rural, agricultural, environmental and cultural assets, with the focus on building the resilience of riverbanks for future flood events.

The work is guided by a Scientific Impact and Prioritisation Panel tasked with determining priority sites and reaches. Resulting on-ground works will be led by Local Land Services in partnership with service providers (including Soil Conservation Services) and landholders.

All works undertaken in this project will:

  • take a reach-based and targeted approach to works
  • be considered best practice in riverbank management
  • focus on the protection of rural, agricultural, environmental and cultural asset protection
  • be determined a priority by the methodology and prioritisation tools endorsed by the project’s Scientific Impact and Prioritisation Panel.

How will the Riverbank Rehabilitation Project help to streamline approvals?

The streamlined riverbank rehabilitation approvals sub-project stream is applying a case management approach aimed at expediting the waterways approvals process without compromising the appropriate due diligence required for protecting natural and cultural heritage assets and effective riparian rehabilitation works.

Local Land Services is bringing together relevant stakeholders from both local and NSW governments through a Streamlined Approvals Interagency Working Group. The group will develop a framework to support consistent approaches to rehabilitation works and consider applications in a timely manner.

The project will provide ongoing resources and education that will allow landholders to make informed decisions when undertaking rehabilitation work.

Targeted on-ground works project update

The project team and stakeholders have been working on the best way to identify the various high value rural agricultural, cultural and environmental natural assets most at risk from erosion during high flow rain and storm events. We are now working our way through this data and will look to undertake some data testing and field validation in order to finalise the prioritisation model and commence on-ground project activity.

As part of that field validation, our project technical staff are engaging with landholders and undertaking field-based impact assessments across all the 7 priority waterways. Some landholders may have received a letter, an email or a phone call from our technical staff inviting them to participate in the project. This was the first of several rounds of landholder contact that will continue throughout the project.

We are regularly updating the education and resources that are available. Please check back in soon for more project updates.

Riverbank Erosion Support

NSW has experienced a number of severe weather and flood events in 2022, with ongoing wet seasonal conditions. Whilst many paddock and riverbank erosion sites are newly impacted from the 2022 flood events, there are many catchments, communities and landscapes that were also impacted by the NSW storm and high rainfall events of February and March 2021.

In response to the impact the NSW 2022 floods have had on primary producers, Local Land Services established the Riverbank Erosion Support Process, combining the resources and expertise of the Riverbank Rehabilitation Project team and the North Coast, Hunter and Greater Sydney Local Land Services teams to deliver immediate advice and support to impacted landholders.

This is focused on managing erosion on agricultural enterprises and natural resources, including paddocks, cropping land and naturally vegetated areas.

If you’d like to discuss your riverbank erosion damage, please email the project team at riverrehabproject@lls.nsw.gov.au
Please include contact details, river, land size, location and photos including before and after, if possible, and you will be contacted by a member of the team.

The Riverbank Rehabilitation Project is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Riverbank erosion support project update

January 2023

The riverbank erosion support process in underway and supporting rural landholders within the project area by providing:

  • best practice riverbank rehabilitation recommendations
  • education that supports managing riverbank erosion
  • assistance with navigating the waterway approvals process.

Landholders impacted by flooding and looking for support across the 7 priority waterways of the project can contact the project team for advice and support by emailing erosion photos and land information to riverrehabproject@lls.nsw.gov.au

The team look forward to engaging with landholders and providing one-on-one advice at more community pop up events through 2023 to connect them with project information.

Pop up eventPop up event

Caption: Hawkesbury pop up events held at the end of 2022.


Local Land Services have a number of great resources available with regards to flood preparedness and recovery, as well as bushfire recovery resources.

How do I find out more?

You can get in touch with the team by emailing riverrehabproject@lls.nsw.gov.au

If you would like to receive regular project updates, sign up below.

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