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A feasibility study for a levee for the Taree central business district has been prepared. The study assessed options to reduce the impact of flood events. It also considered that the construction of a levee is a significant investment and involves a range of challenges to be overcome.

The feasibility study:

  • explored various levee design options, considering heritage and environmental factors;
  • considered the benefits, aesthetic impacts, costs, flood impacts and community support for each option.

Engagement has been undertaken with key stakeholders within MidCoast Council and community and business representatives who were likely to have an interest in or be affected by this project.

During this engagement, we received feedback that further information would be helpful on how to be prepared for a flood event.

It’s important to be aware of your flood risk at home, work, or at places you visit regularly. We've answered some frequently asked questions we’ve heard during our community conversations below.

The study concluded that the central business district levee would only provide a small amount of flood protection at a high cost and is unfeasible.


In 2020, a Floodplain Management Study and Plan was completed for the Manning River. This study considered numerous Floodplain Risk Management actions and identified a levee to protect the Taree central business district, situated between Commerce and Victoria Street, as a potential option for this location.

A levee for Taree central business district was then further investigated in this feasibility study to determine if various types of levees would provide flood benefits to the central business district.

The feasibility study assessed the benefit a levee would provide for various types of flood events (both high intensity–short duration events and low intensity–long duration events). Various types of levees were examined and the impact of various types of levees on both high-intensity and low-intensity flood events was assessed.

The impact of various levees on the environment, local community, and heritage was also considered. It was determined that the construction of the levee would be costly, as pumping would be required, and the benefits were not significant to either commercial or residential properties.

We are currently implementing actions identified in the Council adopted Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plans, to reduce the risk and impact of flooding across the MidCoast Local Government Area (LGA). In addition, we have invested more than $2 million in stormwater upgrades over the past five years, to reduce the impact of frequent flooding across the MidCoast LGA and the impact on businesses and residences.

Flooding can be:

  • high streamflow caused by an overflow from a stream, river, estuary, lake or dam,
  • major excess of drainage before entering a watercourse,
  • coastal inundation resulting from elevated sea levels and/or waves going over coastline defences.

In the MidCoast, there are three main types of flooding:

  • Flash flooding - is the most common type of flooding affecting the Taree central business district. It is caused by heavy rainfall that exceeds the capacity of the drainage network resulting in flooding that happens quickly and with little warning.
  • River flooding - caused by heavy rainfall in rivers that causes high water levels to spill into nearby floodplains.
  • Coastal Flooding - caused by coastal storms that result in elevated ocean water levels, severe winds, and large waves.

The Taree central business district is affected by both flooding from the Manning River and flash flooding from rainfall on the local catchment creating flows that are in excess of the local drainage capacity. Both types of flooding can occur together.

During flash flood events it can be difficult to provide effective warning as the water levels rise quickly. Decisions between evacuation and shelter in place may be required at short notice. Flooding from the Manning River typically has longer warning times, allowing businesses and residents to prepare their property and consider evacuation.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is the lead emergency management agency during floods. Our role during a flood is to assist emergency management departments such as the SES, NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW Police.

Visit the SES website for further information on how to be better prepared for a flood event.

To assess your flood risk and understand flooding and stormwater management in the MidCoast please see Flood Management Studies and Plans


Taree has a long history of flooding, with the largest flood recorded in 1929. Large flood events have occurred in 1978, 1990, 2011 and 2013, with the largest recent event in March 2021.

The area between Commerce Street and Pulteney Street is low-lying and impacted by flooding.

Council updated the Manning River Flood Study in 2015 to reduce the potential impacts of flooding on our community. Locals provided valuable input, sharing their experiences of flooding in the area.

In 2020, Council completed a Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for the Manning River. This study considered numerous Floodplain Risk Management actions and identified that a levee for the Taree central business district is the most cost-effective and straight forward option. This study further investigates the feasibility of the levee and is being undertaken as part of the NSW Floodplain Management Program.

You can view both these studies in our document library below on this page.


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    October – May 2023

    Consultants prepare a feasibility study

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    June 2023

    Council receives the feasibility study report

  • Timeline item 3 - active


    Council decision on flood levee option

Want more information?

For more information on Manning Valley flood studies and plans click on the button below.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, the Gathang-speaking people and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who now reside in the MidCoast Council area. We extend our respect to elders past and present, and to all future cultural-knowledge holders.

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