Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport

The Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport (2015) sets the direction for flood management in the region. It takes a collaborative approach and outlines how agencies will work together to plan for, avoid and reduce flood risks while supporting emergency preparation and response.

The strategy is being refreshed for 2021. Download the draft strategy documents or learn more about the refresh.

Flooding in Melbourne's Port Phillip and Westernport region
The Port Phillip and Westernport region covers 13,000 square kilometres, from the Yarra Ranges in the east to Ballan in the west, and from Kinglake in the north down to the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip and French Islands.

Why we need a strategy

We all need to work together with the community to reduce the impacts of flooding, which poses risks to people, property, infrastructure and the environment.

Flood impacts can include:

  • deaths
  • injuries
  • property damage
  • social disruption
  • loss or disruption of critical infrastructure and services.

Climate change, sea level rise and urban densification are increasing flood risk. Despite an overall decrease in rainfall, climate scientists are projecting:

  • more frequent and severe floods
  • more intense rainfall events
  • continued sea level rise.

We have extensive experience and a strong understanding of flooding in the region, providing a sound foundation for managing flood risk.

The strategy refresh builds on this foundation and the progress made through implementing the current strategy. While our existing flood management approaches will continue to play a critical role, we will also seek innovative new approaches to reduce flood risk and deliver additional benefits for water security, liveability and sustainability.

Download the current strategy

The current Flood Management Strategy ends in June 2021. While the refresh takes place, the current strategy will continue being implemented with our partners, overseen by a multi-agency senior leadership committee.

Refreshing the strategy

Illustration of people next to a flooded river

Melbourne Water is leading a refresh of the strategy with our partners: any organisation in the region that has flood management responsibilities, including:

  • local and state government
  • water authorities
  • emergency services.

The strategy refresh will create a guiding framework that drives relevant regional approaches to flood management for organisations that have flood management responsibilities.

It is directed by a collective vision, objectives and 10-year outcomes. Under each outcome, the strategy identifies key focus areas which guide our actions.

Working collaboratively across the region

As the region’s floodplain manager, our role is to coordinate the development and delivery of the strategy as required by the Victorian Government’s Floodplain Management Strategy.

During the refresh process, we have consulted extensively to build a draft strategy and action plan. This includes:

  • engaging a broad range of partners and stakeholders (62 organisations to date) to ensure the refreshed strategy is relevant and representative of a collective approach to flood management
  • building the content of the drafts through three stakeholder workshops and one senior leadership workshop
  • online consultation with the community via our YourSay web platform
  • continued consultation with our Flood Leadership Committee and technical reference groups.

Download the draft strategy, action plan and FAQs for further information:


For more information, email [email protected]

Last updated:
28 April 2021