Melbourne Water is working in partnership with the cities of Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston and Port Phillip to take a holistic approach to reducing flood risk in Elster Creek Catchment, collaboratively implementing the Elster Creek Catchment Flood Management Plan 2019-24.

Catchment map, showing majority of catchment within the City of Glen Eira but extending in to the councils of Port Phillip (north west), Bayside (south) and Kingston (south east)
Located in Melbourne’s inner southeast, Elster Creek catchment collects run-off from the City of Glen Eira and parts of the cities of Bayside and Kingston, draining to Port Phillip Bay at Elwood (City of Port Phillip). Download map (PDF, 4.48MB)

Why this is important

The Elster Creek Catchment has always been prone to flooding. Climate change and increasing urban development will add to these challenges, with more severe and frequent storms and more hard surfaces like roofs and roads generating more stormwater runoff.

Despite our efforts to minimise flooding, it cannot be completely eliminated. The plan therefore contains a range of interventions to reduce flood risk, including building community understanding and preparedness.

Plan overview

The Elster Creek Catchment Flood Management Plan outlines a five-year program of works that builds on previous investments to reduce flood risks across the catchment.

It was developed in close consultation with councils and the local community, focusing on three key areas to ensure a holistic approach to flood planning in the catchment:

  • implementing on-ground solutions that minimise flooding and its impact on the community
  • influencing development across the catchment to minimise run-off and reduce flood risk
  • ensuring the community is informed, actively engaged and understands the challenges of managing flooding in the catchment and what is being done about it.

Project partners are committed to cooperating across council boundaries to implement the plan, and working with water utility companies, the Victorian Government and the community.

Download the full Flood Management Plan and the partner memorandum of understanding:

What’s happening and when

View the latest progress on actions within the plan, grouped by focus area, and stay informed of opportunities to get involved.

Plan implementation status

One catchment, many solutions
Action Delivery Lead agency Traffic light status

Incorporate increased flood mitigation within Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve.

Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘20 Bayside City Council & Melbourne Water
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Business cases for a range of options being reviewed

Seek opportunities to identify new or expanded physical works (including retarding basins) on public land across the catchment.
Develop an implementation plan for identified projects.

Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 Melbourne Water & Glen Eira City Council
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Incorporate flood mitigation into all Council capital projects within the catchment where feasible. Jul ‘22 – Jun ‘24 Local Government


Undertake research on suitable permeable surfaces for the Elster Creek Catchment and develop a tool which can be used to measure and compare permeable treatments. Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘20 City of Port Phillip  
Investigate incentives or funding mechanisms for landholders to reduce impacts on local catchments by reducing runoff and increasing permeability. Jul ‘20 – Jun ‘22 Melbourne Water
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Influencing the Department of Education and private schools to include flood mitigation within school open space. Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 City of Port Phillip
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Land use planning
Action Delivery Lead agency Traffic light status
Seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare a planning scheme amendment to update the extent of the Special Building Overlay (SBO) to reflect more recent flood mapping data within Glen Eira. Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘21 Melbourne Water & Glen Eira Council
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In progress
Establish a flood baseline and set flood risk reduction targets within the Elster Creek Catchment. Jul ‘20 – Jun ‘22 Glen Eira City Council
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Tied to above action
Establish a catchment baseline for permeability and set targets to increase permeability in both the private and public realm. Include consideration of future development into permeability target setting. Jul ‘20 – Jun ‘21 Glen Eira City Council
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In progress
Investigate the development of a Catchment-wide Development Contributions Plan Overlay into the planning scheme for each of the four councils. Jul ‘22 – Jun ‘24 Glen Eira City Council N/A
Share information and build capacity of council staff to effectively and consistently implement the Victorian Planning Provisions for Stormwater Management in Urban Development (Clause 53.18). Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 City of Port Phillip
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In progress

Advocate to the Victorian Government to:

  • prioritise flood mitigation in the development of strategic sites and urban renewal areas
  • encourage schools to install water recycling infrastructure.
Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 Glen Eira & Port Phillip city councils
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In progress


Informed and well-prepared communities
Action Delivery Lead agency Traffic light status

Develop a Communications and Engagement Plan for the Catchment

Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘19 City of Port Phillip
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Collaborate on education and communications programs with key stakeholders and community champions

Jul ‘19 –Oct ‘20 City of Port Phillip
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In progress; some opportunities limited by COVID

Review form and function of the Community Reference Group

Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘19 Melbourne Water 
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Complete; transitioning to Community Advisory Panel

Development of a pilot program that provides a tailored approach to flood awareness, education and response (with potential higher levels of services) based on sub-catchment flood risk profiles.

Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘20 Melbourne Water
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In progress; delivery of pilot delayed by COVID

Work with Emergency Management Victoria, State Emergency Services, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Bureau of Meteorology to improve coordination and response to major flood events.

Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 Melbourne Water
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In progress

Develop an online resource for residents and businesses to find information related to flood risk, how to prepare and what they can do to make their homes more flood resilient.

Jul ‘20 – Nov ‘21 Melbourne Water 
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Complete – view resource
Investigate and invest in partnerships with the insurance industry.
Advocate to the insurance industry to share information with the community and to reduce insurance premiums for properties that are more resilient to flood impacts.
Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 Kingston City Council
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In progress; collaboration through the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance


Last action status update: December 2020

Contact us

If you have feedback or would like more information about this project, contact us.

Related links


cars driving on flooded road

It's an inevitable part of Melbourne’s weather cycle, but we aim to minimise the risk to people, property and infrastructure.

Find out more


Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport

Cyclist riding through floodwater

Learn more about the strategy, currently being refreshed and due to take effect mid-2021.

Read the strategy

Last updated:
16 December 2020