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 % Complete

Plan to incorporate increased flood mitigation within Elsternwick Park precinct in conjunction with development of Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve.

Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘22 Bayside City Council & Melbourne Water


Business case approved; detailed investigations and engineering design underway; ‘liveability’ design and partner and community consultation upcoming

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


Update underway to shortlist major infrastructure opportunities across catchment

Incorporate flood mitigation into all council and Melbourne Water capital projects within the catchment where feasible. Jul ‘22 – Jun ‘24 Local Government & Melbourne Water 20%
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
Green tick icon

100% complete

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


Working with E2DesignLab to develop permeability investment decision-making framework, including incentives; draft report delivered, being reviewed by partners

Develop and implement a strategic advocacy approach to the Victorian Government and other organisations to: 

  • Prioritise flood mitigation in the development of strategic sites and urban renewal areas
  • Encourage schools (public and private) to install water recycling infrastructure
  • Encourage schools (public and private) to include flood mitigation within school open space.
Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 City of Port Phillip & City of Glen Eira


Joint advocacy statement developed and utilised for 2022 State Election; to build upon following election

Land use planning
Action Delivery Lead agency % Complete
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


Awaiting updated modelling incorporating new climate change projections from MW; due early 2023

Establish a flood baseline and set flood risk reduction targets within the Elster Creek Catchment. Jul ‘20 – Jun ‘22 Glen Eira City Council


Included in IWM Plan development work for Glen Eira; complete soon.

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 ‘22 Glen Eira City Council


Baseline incorporated into Glen Eira IWM Plan; to build targets from this baseline.

Consider options for implementing an offset trading scheme across the Elster Creek Catchment where funds can be collected from developers to fund drainage infrastructure works in another location. Jul ‘22 – Jun ‘24 Glen Eira City Council
Green tick icon

100% complete

Analysis and options paper presented to council CEOs; offsetting for volume not feasible.

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 40%
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 75%
Informed and well-prepared communities
Action Delivery Lead agency % Complete

Develop a Communications and Engagement Plan that addresses the following:

  • Builds community awareness about the catchment and flood overlays
  • Builds community preparedness for flooding
  • Links with Emergency Management to educate the community about how to respond in times of flood
  • Educates the community on changes they can make to their properties to increase resilience to flooding
  • Demonstrates the funding commitment from project partners
  • Uses simple, plain English and real world relatable examples
  • Is delivered in a way that reaches different sections of the community (renters, owners, businesses, etc.)
  • Annual awareness campaign targeted at wider community about flood risk and vulnerability
Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘19 City of Port Phillip
Green tick icon

100% complete

Coordinate delivery of the Communications and Education Plan Jan ‘20 – Jun ‘24 City of Port Phillip


Include collaboration on education and communications programs with key stakeholders and community champions in the Communications and Education Plan (above action), including: 

  • Port Phillip EcoCentre
  • State Emergency Service
  • South East Water
Jul ‘19 –Dec ‘19 City of Port Phillip
Green tick icon

100% complete

Transitioned to an ongoing action

Review form and function of the Community Reference Group including membership, purpose and meeting frequency.

Jul ‘19 – Dec ‘19 Melbourne Water 
Green tick icon

100% complete

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
Green tick icon

100% complete

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, including:

  • Scenario planning and alignment of Municipal Emergency Management Plans
  • Communications after flood events
  • A mechanism (such as a mobile app) for impacted communities to update flood impacts during and post flood.
Jul ‘19 – Jun ‘24 Melbourne Water


App in development and governance being negotiated

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 


Part 2 complete; part 1 tied to upgrades of MW GIS platform to support development of interactive online map for MW website; business case in development

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 30%

Last action status update: December 2022

Contact us

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

Related links


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

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Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport

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

Read the strategy


Retrofitting your home for flood resilience

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In May 2021 community were invited to attend a free online information session to learn about the new Flood Resilient Guide to Retrofitting Your Home.

View event details

Last updated:
1 December 2022