You may be required to enter into a Section 173 Agreement if your projects can’t meet a special condition in your non-works or works offer, or to comply with a Melbourne Water planning permit condition.

​A Section 173 Agreement is a legal contract made between council, the owner of land and a referral authority, such as Melbourne Water.  A Section 173 Agreement is registered on the title to the land so that future owners of the land are bound by the obligations of that agreement.

Melbourne Water assesses planning permits when an application is referred from Council.  As a referral authority, Melbourne Water will be requested to provide comments on an application having regard to flooding or drainage issues.

Application process

You are required to lodge this application in order to comply with a Melbourne Water condition on your non-works, works offer, or planning permit. Once we have received the application we will start the legal agreement process.

Documents required

  • copy of your planning permit

  • council’s acceptance to be party to the agreement, if applicable

  • copy of the current titles of the property including the plan of subdivision


The time involved in the preparation and execution of the agreement will vary according to the complexity of the project.

S173 Agreements and October 2022 Maribyrnong River Flood event

In the event that changes to a property are proposed these may trigger the normal planning permit process. If a planning permit is determined to be needed,  this may then be referred to Melbourne Water for flood risk assessment.

In the first instance Melbourne Water seeks to support a planning applicant in meeting flood risk requirements. Where this can’t be achieved, a s173 agreement may be an option.

In a case where an applicants proposed works do not increase the flood risk, it is unlikely a s173 agreement would be required.

s173 Agreements are not being applied retrospectively in Maribyrnong or anywhere else by Melbourne Water.


All costs to be paid by the applicant.

Contact us

If you need any help to complete this application, contact us on 131 722.

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