Koo Wee Rup-Longwarry flood protection district

This district is a unique area within our operating region covering approximately 330 square kilometres and is a former swamp drained through the mid to late 1800s and used for farming. 

Drains were cut through the land to help handle the flooding that was, and remains, common in the area. We're responsible for maintaining these drains, and charge a special precept rate to fund the increased level of service across the district.

What is a precept rate?

The maintenance and capital works program for the flood protection district is intensive due to the concentration of drains and the significant flood risk to the area.

Properties within the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry Flood Protection District pay a different rate that reflects the higher levels of drainage service provided in the area. Residents in this area don't pay the metropolitan Waterways and Drainage Charge.

This is known as the precept rate, and is approved by the Victorian Government’s independent regulator – the Essential Services Commission – which independently regulates the prices and service standards of businesses supplying water, sewerage and related services.

Maintenance responsibilities

In the district there are two types of drains, precept and carrier drains. A precept drain is one that originates within the flood protection district and drains the local area.

A carrier drain originates outside the precept area, both carrying water through the area and taking water from the precept drains. A good example of this is the Bunyip River which takes water from the Tarago system upstream and water from the district.

Precept drain maintenance is totally funded by the precept rate, while carrier drains are half funded by the precept rate and half from the Waterways and Drainage Charge.


We maintain the local and main carrier drains, culverts, floodgate structures, occupational bridges, fences and flood warning systems in the area to provide an increased level of drainage and flood protection. Each year we invest $1.2 million to carry out maintenance which includes:

  • grass cutting
  • spraying and weed control
  • desilting and debris removal
  • erosion control

Drains on private property

Although most drains within the district are managed by us or the local council, many drains within farms and other private properties are the responsibility of the landholder. It's the individual landholder’s responsibility to maintain their property and ensure it drains effectively.

Our eyes and ears

While we do our best to make sure the system is working as effectively as possible, the community is often our best link to where problems exist. Please contact us if you have any maintenance or drainage issues in the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry Flood Protection District area.

Constraints for working in the area

The Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry area is home to some of the state’s threatened and endangered species:

  • Southern Brown Bandicoot

  • Growling Grass Frog

  • Australian Grayling

This sometimes mean works can't happen as quickly as we, or the community, may like as we are required to seek approvals under state and federal legislation. The application can be quite complex as we have to demonstrate works won't disturb the habitats of these endangered species.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we must ensure the future survival of these species.

Customer service charter

This has been endorsed by the Koo Wee Rup-Longwarry Flood Protection District Advisory Committee to govern our dealings with all precept ratepayers in the district.

The charter is an expression of our ongoing commitment to promote quality and improve access to our services. It sets out basic information on the services we provide, the standards of service and how to make complaints or suggestions for improvement.

Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry flood protection district advisory committee

The Koo Wee Rup committee is a representative, ratepayer-based forum made up of local residents and interest groups, ourselves and local council.

The committee plays an important role in making recommendations to us on a range of matters relevant to ratepayers and residents living in the area.

The committee provides advice to us on maintenance and works priorities within the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry flood protection district so the special precept rates collected in the district (the total of which will be based on the level of service required as identified by the committee) may be spent efficiently and equitably.

The Koo Wee Rup committee is convened by us and meets every three months.

Committee members​ ​Organisation
Mr Bruce Turner​ ​Independent Chair
​Mr Con Raffa
​Mr Matthew Coleman
​Mr Frank Rovers
Mr Ian Anderson
​Mr John Hobson
Ms Jo Fontana
Ms Susan Anderson
​Cr Ray Brown ​Cardinia Shire Council
​Mr Kevin Alexander ​Cardinia Shire Council
​Mr Clive Brooker ​Baw Baw Shire Council
​Ms Sarah Eggleton Melbourne Water
Ms Elisha Calle ​Melbourne Water
Mr Tom Le Cerf ​Melbourne Water
Mr Stuart Cochrane ​Melbourne Water
Ms Georgina Downey Melbourne Water 

Committee minutes

Your feedback

 131 722 to arrange an onsite visit or contact a committee member

 [email protected]

 contact us online

Last updated:
8 December 2020