Carnarvon Floodplain Management Report

Page last updated: Monday, 30 May 2022 - 10:14am

The Carnarvon Floodplain Management Working Group report provides recommendations for investment into the management of the floodplain of the lower Gascoyne River to ensure profitable and sustainable production.

Established by the State Government to assist the horticulture industry to recover and reduce future impacts following the flooding of the lower Gascoyne River in 2021, the working group comprises of representatives from key stakeholders – the Departments of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD); Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER); Fire and Emergency Services, the Shire of Carnarvon, and the Carnarvon Growers Association.

Periodic flooding of the lower Gascoyne River floodplain at Carnarvon is a natural event. The flooding results from cyclonic and thunderstorm activity, with the risk period generally from November to May, associated with the wet season in the north of WA. The Carnarvon horticultural area has suffered considerable damage following flooding of the Gascoyne River in 1960, 1961, 1974, 1980, 1995, 2000, 2009, 2010/11 and 2021.

The report

The working group’s report details key recommendations to resolve the current issues and be better prepared for future events and includes five critical areas:

  • a governance structure to promote a coordinated and long-term strategic approach to floodplain management 
  • flood planning and mapping to increase understanding
  • reducing impacts through waterways management 
  • reducing loss through improved soil conservation and land management practices
  • improving waste management.

Report on floodplain management for the Carnarvon horticultural industry

Please view the State Government's reponse to the report.

A short version of the report recommendations is available in English, Vietnamese and Portugese.

In August and September 2021 community consultation was undertaken. A summary of issues raised and the working group’s response is provided.

Next steps

The working group have identified the priority recommendations to improve management of the floodplain. DPIRD, DWER and Shire of Carnarvon acknowledge that the recommendations in the report aren’t currently budgeted. These agencies are working collaboratively, with industry, to secure funding.

Several recommendations of the Working Group are already funded and being actioned. These include the recruitment of a Development Officer by DPIRD, and to develop and submit funding applications to undertake flood planning, mapping and waterways management.

More information

For further information contact Valerie Shrubb on +61 (0)8 9956 3348.